After the highly anticipated 2012 comeback album Push and Shove, No Doubt has hit the road again to play some festivals this summer. The past two months they have headlined Global Citizen Earth Day in Washington DC, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Rock in Rio USA in Las Vegas, and a special acoustic set at the ‘An Evening With Women’ Benefit for the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
Streamed live courtesy of Yahoo, I got to enjoy their set at Rock in Rio USA in Vegas. Opening with 2001’s danceable hit “Hella Good”, Gwen Stefani instantly had the audience in the palm of her hand taunting them to “obey” her “or there would be serious trouble”. They fired through past hits “It’s My Life”, and Jamaican inspired “Underneath It All” before getting to 2012’s “Settle Down” from Push and Shove.
Audiences have always loved No Doubt’s undeniable on-stage charisma, and even though all band members are now 40+, there was no shortage of charisma in this show! 45 and mother of three - Gwen Stefani ran around the stage, grooved and jumped along with band members and the crowd and still delivered flawless vocals - switching up melodies, harmonies and lyrical phrasing every now and then to keep the songs fresh and exciting.
After a few more hits such as “Hey Baby”, “Ex-Girlfriend”, and “New” they stripped things down and did a gorgeous acoustic set featuring “Simple Kind of Life” and “Magic’s In The Makeup” from 2000’s Return of Saturn. Then Stefani introduced the next song “Excuse Me Mr.” by telling the crowd that it was the first song her and (guitarist) Tom Dumont ever wrote together and that it was a “really really mean song” about (bassist) Tony Kanal to which they along with the audience all giggled. To think…if they (Gwen and Tony) never broke up then 1995’s Tragic Kingdom and all of it’s many singles would have never come out and No Doubt wouldn’t have sold millions of albums world wide! The acoustic version of “Excuse Me Mr.” was stunning and distinctly different than the punky loud upbeat studio version. See the link below.
They ended the incredible evening off with all their biggest hits from the 90’s including “Sunday Morning”, “Don’t Speak”, “Just a Girl” and their amazing encore of “Spiderwebs”. So what does the future hold for the OC’s favourite band? Drummer Adrian Young has said that they have “no immediate plans" to release new music any time soon as No Doubt. However, Gwen recently signed a new management deal separate from No Doubt with Azoff MSG Entertainment and has been planning to release a third solo album but is still currently in the studio writing and recording. Back in 2014 fresh off being a coach on The Voice she released two new solo singles “Baby Don’t Lie” and “Spark The Fire”.
There’s been reports of her working with the likes of Charli XCX, Miguel, Lunchmoney Lewis, DJ Mustard, Mische, Cedric Gervais, and Major Lazer on the new album. Also in 2014, Gwen teamed up with MasterCard and is the face of their “Priceless Surprises” campaign. They endorsed a few solo concerts for her at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles where she performed all the hits from her past solo albums Love.Angel.Music.Baby. and The Sweet Escape, as well as new singles “Baby Don’t Lie”, “Spark The Fire”, and “Together” - a collaboration with Calvin Harris for his 2014 album Motion. She also debuted a new song penned by Sia called “Start A War”. Gwen and long-time friend and collaborator Pharrell Williams have also teased a few new song titles such as “Heart Shaped”, “Woah” and “Lifting You” in recent months as well.
Most recently, Gwen can be heard as a featured vocalist on Snoop Dogg’s new album BUSH - on the song “Run Away”. The future is looking bright for both Gwen Stefani and No Doubt!