No Doubt are a band with a lot of history. 26 years of the stuff to be exact.
After a nine-year break, the Anaheim ska-pop four piece played their first and only European show of 2012 at the Maison de la Mutualité in Paris on Tuesday night.
The break appears to have served the band well. They performed with a bounding enthusiasm that few pop whippersnappers would be able to summon.
They opened with “Sunday Morning” from their 1995 album, Tragic Kingdom. It was perhaps not the most obvious of set starters, but the crowd lapped it up. They bounced and bopped as per Gwen Stefani’s commands.
Stefani pounded about the stage, exuding her trademark tomboy sexiness. No more Harajuku girl, just a teeny-tiny crop top, knee-high DMs and punky tartan cargo pants. Unsurprisingly, her choice of top prompted much breathless discussion about the rock solid state of her abs. The woman has had TWO KIDS. TWO.
Abs aside, Gwen’s voice was the real attention grabber. It soared and swelled through every track, from the ska-pop pleasers like “Just A Girl”, through to the dancehall inspired “Hey Baby!”.
The fun and friendly dynamic between the band members was obvious and ensured that everyone at the exclusive HP Connected Music gig left utterly charmed. Tony Kanal, Tom Dumont and Adrian Young never fell behind Gwen’s shadow – perhaps helped by their matching platinum blonde coiffeurs.
Having weathered the storm surrounding the video for new single “Looking Hot”, the band played a set that exuded positivity. They raided their extensive back catalogue for songs that felt like a live greatest hits compilation. Tracks from their new album Push and Shove held their own alongside the classics like “Don’t Speak” and “Spiderwebs”.
Every tune sounded fresh and alive, indicating that No Doubt are a band with plenty more to give. 26 years, six albums and 21 singles down, No Doubt (and Stefani’s abs - sorry) are still rock steady.
The concert was organised to launch HP Connected Music, a new music service from HP and Universal Music. Music lovers will be able to access exclusive content and events when using their Microsoft Windows 8-powered HP computer. They’ll also be able to browse through Universal Music’s huge catalogue of music from around the globe.
Live image by Jen Evans for BitchBuzz.com