When Britpop Rivals Collide: Liam Gallagher And Coldplay Perform At One Love Manchester

One Love Manchester saw an A-list of exceptional artists coalesce in tragedy and charity to headline the most emotional gig of the century. Among show-starter Ariana Grande’s swathes of modern pop imports including Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Justin Bieber, Manchester’s home-grown hero Liam Gallagher frenzied the crowd performing a surprise set with his long-time Brit rock rival, Coldplay’s Chris Martin.

For their time-defying set, Liam and Chris stripped back their cover of Oasis’ greatest hit, “Live Forever,” taken from the record that debuted Liam as a soon-to-be Britpop hero, “Definitely Maybe.” Respect for the Manchester bombing victims overlaid their set with a heavy sense of solemnity, casting aside their star appeal to present one of the greatest songs of a generation. Against the vacant space of a backing band, their tribute captured the emptiness of loss after a disaster.

Liam Gallagher has become a national treasure — his voice crafted the sound of 90s music and topped some of the most treasured songs in British history. Aged 44 at the One Love gig, held on June 4, 2017, Liam shot to fame in 1994 with the Oasis sensation; the UK’s answer to the gaping void in rock left by Kurt Cobain after his death in ’93.

With eight singles and eight albums hitting #1 on the UK charts, Oasis carved out the playing ground for 90s rock, resurrecting a Beatles sound frankensteined with working-class grit and spawning the indomitable hits, “Don’t Look Back In Anger,” “Wonderwall,” and “Rock & Roll Star.”

Meanwhile, Chris Martin (aged 40 at One Love) is Coldplay’s co-founder and frontman. Each one of Coldplay’s nine studio albums, from 2000’s “Parachutes” to 2021’s “Music of the Spheres,” has claimed the #1 spot, fleshed out by countless Top 10 singles including “Yellow,” “Fix You,” and “Viva La Vida,” alongside a #2 charting collab with The Chainsmokers: 2017’s “Something Just Like This.” Born in Exeter, Devon, Chris ranks among the most illustrious British singer-songwriters on the rock scene this century.

Coldplay’s music is just as divisive as Oasis’s, despite being its complete opposite; the latter gets ripped on for rejecting artistry and reveling in four-chord rebellion, while Coldplay saps with acoustics and atmosphere, devoid of Oasis’s inherent buzz. But Liam and Chris’s collab marked a statement of union, trust, and brotherhood within the music scene after an event which threatened to tear it apart at the seams.

One Love Manchester was organized only 13 days after a terrorist plot killed 22 people and injured 59 at Ariana Grande’s 2017 concert at Manchester Arena. Like a modern Live Aid, One Love raised just over £18 million via the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, £3.5m of which went to those who were hospitalized after the attack and £250,000 to each family affected.

Liam Gallagher and Chris Martin’s surprise acoustic set epitomized Ariana’s message in returning to Manchester so promptly after the May ’17 attacks: strength, unity, peace, and love.

Enjoy more from the legendary Liam Gallagher by visiting his YouTube Channel. If you want to get personal updates and behind-the-scenes glimpses, follow him on Facebook and Instagram. To get more information on his music, gigs, and much more, visit his Website. Liam Gallagher continues to be a music icon, offering timeless performances that captivate audiences, such as his poignant set at the One Love Manchester concert.

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