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HomeMusicLiam Gallagher compares Co-Op Live to Madison Square Garden

Liam Gallagher compares Co-Op Live to Madison Square Garden

Liam Gallagher has compared Manchester’s new Co-Op Live arena to New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden – despite the venue’s recent problems.

The venue in Gallagher’s hometown has had its fair share of teething problems this year, mired in controversy after myriad delays. It was due to open on April 23 with a show from comedian Peter Kay, but after power supply issues at a test event featuring Rick Astley, Kay’s show was first postponed by a week and then for a second time as the venue “wasn’t ready“.

Shows by The Black Keys, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Olivia Rodrigo and Keane were all postponed, too, while Take That decided to move their five concert dates to the AO Arena instead. The last-minute cancellation of A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s show was due to part of the ventilation system falling from the ceiling during the rapper’s soundcheck – something that venue operators said could have been “catastrophic“.

The slew of issues facing the arena led to music lovers coming forward to express their frustration at the postponements, and branded the venue as “Manchester’s own Fyre Festival”. Finally, hometown indie giants Elbow later opened Co-Op Live on May 14, with frontman Guy Garvey “christening” it as “an amazing room” and a “beautiful new venue”.

Now, it seems that Liam Gallagher agrees, having played the 23,500- capacity biggest indoor venue in the UK twice over the weekend before comparing it to New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden – one of the most iconic and popular gig spaces on the planet.

Posting to Twitter/X, he wrote: “That new MCR arena is up there with NY MSG in my opinion as you were LG x.”

Gallagher played Co-Op Live e on June 15 and 16 as part of his ‘Definitely Maybe’ 30th Anniversary tour. Meanwhile, he previously played Madison Square Garden twice with Oasis, once in 2005 and again in 2008.

The Co-Op Live shows were his first in his native Manchester since he played the Etihad Stadium in June 2022, and he included every song from the seminal Oasis album on the setlist for both nights – even debuting the ‘rap’ from the Sawmills demo of ‘Columbia’.

After the second night, he wrote on X, “Manchester you did it again that arena is well and truly on the map and it’s all down to you lot both nights were BIBLICAL loud proud and cool as fuck I love and adore you all stay young LG x.”

This comes after a Manchester branch of Lidl erected a blue plaque in Gallagher’s honour, after the singer offered that he’d play a branch of the supermarket if the Co-Op Live wasn’t “sorted” in time back when it was still facing issues.

He’ll be returning to the Co-Op Live on June 27 for another show to round off his tour, and he’ll also be playing Definitely Maybe in full when he headlines Reading & Leeds in August.

If you’re more of a ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory’ fan, it sounds like there could be another 30th anniversary tour on the horizon next year.

Co-Op Live’s general manager Gary Roden resigned back in April amidst the issues. He had come under fire for his comments about grassroots music venues, arguing that some smaller venues in the UK are “poorly run” and dismissed calls for a £1 ticket levy on all gigs arena-sized and above.

In response, Mark Davyd, CEO of the Music Venue Trust, told NME that he believed Roden’s comments were “disrespectful and disingenuous”, while also highlighting the irony of making such “ill-judged, unnecessary and misleading” remarks on the week that their own venue was forced to postpone its launch, due to several logistical problems.

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