Live Review: No Doubt - The Gibson Amphitheater, Los Angeles
Tue, 28 Jul 2009 00:14:12
No Doubt never get old.
Their comeback jaunt could've easily been dubbed "The Forever Young Tour." The Orange County pop rockers sounded better than ever at the sold out Gibson Amphitheater tonight. Gwen Stefani, Tom Dumont, Tony Kanal and Adrian Young were just as magical as they were when Tragic Kingdom took over pop culture back in 1995—maybe even more so.
A white curtain covered the stage at the start of the show. Four shadows instantly came into frame. It was more like the beginning of a Stanley Kubrick film than a rock show. Instead of a big black monolith, the crowd got one of the most important musical acts of the 1990s. With as many hits as they have, they're monolithic in their own right. The white ramp riser curled around the entire stage, and it gave Gwen and Co. a whole lot of room to bounce around. Immediately, the band launched into "Spiderwebs," and the crowd practically burst at the seams screaming along to every note. Next, the funky beats in "Hella Good" sparked dancing across the venue, and Miss Stefani held the crowd in her well-manicured hand.
"Ex-Girlfriend" had a bouncy Broadway stomp courtesy of Adrian's impeccable percussion. Tom pulled off quite a few note-perfect solos too, tapping his fret board and bending each lick with raw fire. "A Simple Kind of Life" brought the audience back to Saturn as Gwen's pristine pipes carried them through outerspace during a cosmic melody. It was quite celestial indeed—especially with the vibrant light show hypnotizing everyone. Tony kicked up the energy on "Bathwater" as he ripped his bass line flawlessly while leapfrogging towards Gwen on stage. "Running" summoned some tears as old school home video footage of the band played on the screen behind the band.
Gwen described the epic "Different People" as "one of the first songs we ever wrote together." It still sounded fresh as she careened across the stage bouncing as her voice soared. "Don't Speak" showed just how powerful Gwen is live. Her voice sounded angelic and powerful as she elevated the classic song's chorus to heavenly heights. She even managed to sail over the singing crowd. Then on "It's My Life" she locked in with the band tight reaching pure pop perfection on the hook.
Gwen didn't speak much, but when she did she was greeted with massive cheers. She smiled, "I can't believe this is my life! This is incredible."
What makes Gwen great is she's still "Just a Girl" though. She busted out a few push-ups really quickly and then jumped into her massive girl power anthem, even getting the boys to belt out the chorus.
The ultimate girl power moment came during the encore though. Garbage's Shirley Manson and openers The Sounds joined No Doubt for a rousing rendition of Adam Ant's "Stand and Deliver." Gwen and Shirley are icons to a whole generation of females, and seeing them on stage together was a momentous, once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. Their voices volleyed back and forth incredibly, and the audience erupted.
They capped it all off with a rapturous "Sunday Morning." Gwen smiled, laughed and bowed to the crowd, and it was clear that No Doubt have returned. Whether or not they've drunk from the fountain of youth we'll never know, but either way their kingdom is still beautifully tragic.