No Doubt Rocks it Steady
Elizabeth Stolfi
staff writer
October 29, 2002
No Doubt on Amazon:
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November 25, 2003
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October 10, 1995
Interscope Records
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April 6, 2004
Return of Saturn Return of Saturn
April 11, 2000
Interscope Records
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NEW YORK, NY (RMR) - As the lights went down on a sea of bleach blonde hair and homemade bondage pants, No Doubt rose from under the catwalk of the stage pounding out the beginning of "Hella Good"from their latest album Rock Steady. The crowd immediately recognized the tune. As Gwen Stefani started to sing, she was joined by 10,000 Long Islanders, and the tremendous sing-a-long began.

The band's energy illuminated through-out the stadium as Gwen and the crowd fed off of each other the entire show. "Sunday Morning,"was the second song on the bill. Before it ended, Tom Dumont (guitarist), Tony Kanal (bassist) and Gwen jumped in circles to Adrian Young's drum beat, which was accompanied by the pumping fists of every general admission ticket holder.

The show continued into "Ex-Girlfriend,"the high energy single off of Return of Saturn. "I should have thought of that before we f***ed!"screamed Gwen as she stuck her middle finger up to the crowd. Gwen got in another "F"word during "Different People,"one of the band's older songs. First she gazed into the arena and asked if "there were really people in the back."The people in the back responded, and Gwen invited "every single f***ing person"to jump along to the next part of the song. The song started up again and Gwen gave the signal as every last person in Nassau Coliseum jumped with her. For their latest single "Underneath It All,"Lady Saw, who sings on the recorded version, made a surprise visit.

Perhaps nothing made as big of an impact as their intimate acoustic performance on the end of the catwalk. After a video montage of some old photos, Adrian dangled his legs off the side of the stage, beer in hand, and Tom and Tony sat with acoustics and strummed the beginning of "Magic's in the Make-up,"another track off of Saturn. After that, they went into "Running,"and Gwen was joined by Steven Bradley and Gabriel McNair, who are very important to No Doubt's live show. As well as playing keyboards and horns for almost every song, Steve and Gabe add vocal parts as well as do the harmonies. After that, out rolled a set of electronic drums for the performance of the pro tools made "In My Head."They all hopped around as if the stage wasn't big enough to control all of the energy that they had.

"Just a Girl,"which has become the band's signature live song, kicked off with Gwen doing two sets of pushups after yelling obscenities into the crowd. During the song, she asked everyone to repeat after her; "You can do f***ing better then that"(forgot to mention that one). After she was satisfied with the response, she asked if they wanted to know something..."I'm just a girl in the world, because that's all that you let me be."The song started up once again atop the blaring screams of the crowd.

The night wouldn't be complete without their biggest hit to date, "Don't Speak."Gwen picked up the microphone stand and held it out into the crowd signaling for them to sing the first words for her. As they did, she mouthed the words to help them along. During the guitar solo Gwen danced with bassist (and ex-boyfriend) Tony Kanal, which naturally drew another roar of screams.

Gwen said good night, and the band left the stage, but only to return for one last blast of enthusiasm courtesy of some good old "Spiderwebs."As Gwen sang the final words of the song, she picked up an orange that someone threw on stage, and held it similarly to how she does on the cover of "Tragic Kingdom"(the name is mockingly referring to their home town of Orange County, California). At the end of the show, they all gathered at the center and took a bow. As the lights turned on, everyone returned back to reality and slowly started to come to terms with the fact that they had just seen the best live band in music today.