No Doubt - Gibson Amphitheatre - 11/24/12
Better than...most karaoke versions of "Just A Girl."
On Saturday night No Doubt returned to Los Angeles for the first time in three years to perform their first collection of new songs since 2001. Though the wait for Push and Shove was slowly creeping into Chinese Democracy territory, Gwen Stefani and company reminded 6,000-plus that they haven't lost their ability to appeal to the masses.
These days you're more likely to find the Anaheim-bred rockers taking their children to school than jamming together on-stage. On the first night of a seven show stand at the Gibson, No Doubt put on an arena-ready show that also felt intimate, with a huge screen as a backdrop and an elaborate light show.
Despite crossing over into pop superstardom, Stefani can still bring it. Wearing a short sparkly dress, she carried herself with an effortless swagger; now 43, she hasn't appeared to age since the release of Tragic Kingdom. With her bubbly, relatable on-stage persona, It's easy to see how Stefani has influenced a generation of female pop stars including Katy Perry and Janelle Monae, both of whom opened for the band on their last tour.
As energetic as they were, No Doubt wasn't exempt from opening night jitters. The beginning of the show was a bit disjointed, leading to awkward silences between songs. Things were smoothed out during a four-song acoustic set and from there, the band settled into a groove.