Sunday, August 11, 2002

Gwen Stefani, lead singer for No Doubt, was in perpetual motion last night as the alternative-music band appeared in concert at the Blaisdell Center.

Stefani more
than ‘Just a Girl’

By Gary Chun

Ain't nothing but a party y'all!

It was big fun at the Blaisdell Arena last night as No Doubt gave the capacity house a workout.

What with all the jumping, screaming and up-raised arms, everyone was in a glorious funk -- a good bonding kind of funk -- thanks to Gwen Stefani and company.

The people who turned out were an overwhelmingly young and diverse crowd, eager to let Stefani work her magic. And she certainly replied in kind, as she let the audience's affection wash over her.

She was especially taken back and moved by the hearty response to the latest single from the recent album, "Underneath It All." Its easy lovers rock raggae groove and across-the-board local radio play made the song an instant favorite in Hawaii.

Gwen Stefani, lead singer for No Doubt, gave an energized concert at the Blaisdell Center last night.

And the audience and the band connected like nothing ever seen of late at a Hawaii rock concert.

"We got a lot of energy tonight!" Stefani said, as the band kicked off an Asia/Australia tour here.

No Doubt grabbed the audience by the collective collar with three consecutive rousers; played the strutting hard raggae of "Hella Good" right out the gate, leading into a powerful rendition of "Sunday Morning" and then tearing into another song, "Ex-girlfriend."

"Don't Let Me Down," a song from the new album produced by Cars leader Ric Ocasek, hearkened back to band's love for that synth-driven '80s rock sound.

The band looked as healthy and athletic as its sound. The sinewy and taut-tummied Stefani was decked out in a red tube top, black-and-white tartan hip-hugging pants and high-lace boots.

Guitarist Tom Dumont (sporting an unexpected beard) and bassist Tony Canal looked like a couple of smartly attired gym rats. And drummer Adrian Young, when he wasn't pounding away on his colorfully lit drum kit, looked particularly fetching in a white slip and boxer shorts. His lips were smeared with lipstick.

When he came to the front of the stage to play a small percussion kit on "In My Head," it proved to be a very goofying gender-bender statement!

When in her element, Stefani is already a confident performer. When faced with such an enthusiastic Hawaiian audience, she was just that much better.

During the occasional quiet moments of the concert, her voice was strong on such songs as power ballads, "Simple Kind of Life" and "Don't Speak."

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