Beady Eye and Jack White in NYC

Andrew Olson

Reader Weekly

Liam Gallagher of Oasis fame unveiled his new band, Beady Eye, to four select cities in the North American Continent last week, while Jack White appeared with Stephen Colbert and his Third Man Rolling Record Store in NYC.

The closest that Beady Eye came to Duluth was Chicago, but I happened to be in NYC this past week and attended three performances by Gallagher’s new band.

My wife grew up adoring Oasis and the oft-fighting Gallagher brothers, Liam and Noel, were her girlhood crushes/idols. In December of 2008 we saw Oasis when they came to Minneapolis, but not long after that show it was announced that Noel could no longer go on working with his younger brother Liam, thus the band was breaking up. A few months ago Liam created a new band with the other members of Oasis (minus Noel of course) named Beady Eye. Their debut album, “Different Gear, Still Speeding,” was received well by critics, but I was always a bit skeptical as his voice was a bit nasally.

Seeing Beady Eye live gave me a newfound appreciation of their music and the prowess of Liam Gallagher as a powerful front man.

My wife and I had purchased general admission tickets for Beady Eye’s New York City performance at Webster Hall after we knew we were going on vacation there. I had coached a student for the second year in a row to the National Finals for National History Day in Washington DC and accompanied him there. He performed admirably and placed 6th in the nation. Last year I coached two boys who placed 2ndat the same event, so through Holy Rosary School, our program is getting pretty competitive on the big stage. After a week in DC and meeting Al Franken and sitting at Chip Cravaack’s desk, my wife and I headed by train to NYC for a little R&R.

Our Beady Eye tickets were for Thursday night, but we read that they would be making an appearance on the David Letterman Show on Wednesday. We called the standby ticket phone line on Wednesday morning, but when we answered the trivia question wrong we ended up at numbers 17 and 18 on their list. The staff member on the phone instructed us to go to the Ed Sullivan studios at about 3pm and wait to see if there were any remaining seats.

While waiting there for about an hour, and hearing several stories from other hopefuls about how impossible it would be to get in with such a high number, the staff came over and told us the first 30 on the standby list could stay. We ended up being squeezed into the back of the lower floor of the theater and were instructed to give a belly-laugh at every punch line that Letterman delivered. Our hands hurt after the forced 20 minutes of clapping for the house band before the show even started, but with a lineup of Kevin James (Zookeeper, Grown Ups, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, etc), Beady Eye, and a special appearance by Justin Bieber, it turned out to be an entertaining show.

After the show taping was complete we headed outside to the stage door area to catch a glimpse of Beady Eye. Soon the band members (except for Liam) all came out for a cigarette. We were then told by the security guard there that the band was doing a special webcast performance for CBS in the same theater in an hour or two. We relented to him that we didn’t have tickets, but he told us there might be standby seats available.

While walking to where a line was forming in front of the studio, my wife asked an employee of the theater how to get standby tickets. She was immediately handed two tickets for the show and we got a great spot in line.

This brings me to a little thing I learned about lines in New York. They don’t really line up the way we do here, and by the time you get to the door, the line is gone. Our first lesson in linesmanship was from the Statue of Liberty employees making us go from single file to clumped together, which moved everyone behind us way up to the front of the line. This same exact thing happened at both Beady Eye shows, giving us great front row seats after we learned to go with the flow. My wife was even moved up to the front row for the webcast after we asked an attendant about an open seat. After the webcast, we waited outside the theater and were finally able to get an autograph and picture with Liam Gallagher. The next night we ended up in the front row at the Webster Hall show as well, again due to poor line management. Towards the end of this Beady Eye show, my wife was handed the towel that Liam used as a prop throughout the concert. She was in heaven at the moment and still has a smile a week later from being handed something from her idol.

After my wife got her picture taken with Liam, his towel, and several autographs, I couldn’t help but feel a bit jealous that her idol was in New York, but I had never had a chance to get a picture with my music idol, Jack White.

Click below for videos from the show!