Noel Gallagher - The Age - 2nd December 2005
Some more dedicated fans are congregating around the corner at the Hotel Spencer, asking each other how long they've been "in the family".
Oasis fans show a fierce allegiance, more akin to a football team than a band. And with competition for the concert dollar from the Foo Fighters, Motley Crue and Green Day over the next fortnight, loyalty is paramount to staying at the top.
But the respect is not necessarily returned. Backstage, Noel Gallagher is discussing his relationship with the fans. "They get on my tits to be honest," Noel said. "If they're outside the gig and I've got the time, I don't mind signing album covers — you can go and sell it on eBay and go and buy another one — brilliant. But people come up to me wanting me to sign little bits of paper, but what are they gonna do with it?
"People were outside the hotel yesterday saying, 'Can I have a picture?' No, you don't need it and I don't want to do it. What do you want with it? Just because they buy the record doesn't give them any right to chase me up the street with a pen and a piece of paper."
But the band does love Melbourne — on their last tour Noel tried to buy Cherry bar in AC/DC Lane and they recently asked Jet to support them on their US tour. "I'm glad Jet are from Melbourne — it would have been crap if they were from Sydney, because I don't really like Sydney that much. There's a very nice harbour, but a certain lack of soul about it. I'd rather live here."
On this tour, the Mancunians have been paying tribute to late Manchester United soccer legend George Best — even though he didn't play for their team, Manchester City.
"Georgie transcended football," Noel said. "He was called the fifth Beatle and he looked cool as f---. He owned a nightclub and a clothes shop and drove a Ferrari and he shagged Miss World.
The only thing he didn't do in his life that was cool was play music, and he probably would have been good at that, too. I met him a few times. He was real good fun."
At 9pm, the brothers hit the stage with rhythm guitarist Gem Archer, bassist Andy Bell and new drummer Zak Starkey (who just happens to be Ringo Starr's son). In sweltering heat, the band presented their psychedelic wall of sound in songs from their recent album Don't Believe the Truth.
They haven't written a great album in 10 years, but they are still idolised by their fans who cheer, swing and sway along. Festival Hall had the atmosphere of a soccer game — where the fans couldn't lose. All that was missing was Georgie Best.