No Doubt - Gibson Amphitheatre - 11/24/12

No Doubt - Gibson Amphitheatre - 11/24/12
Timothy Norris

No Doubt

Gibson Amphitheatre

11/24/12

Better than...most karaoke versions of "Just A Girl."

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See also: *Our slideshow of the concert and fans

*We Ask a Designer Why No Doubt's New Record Cover Sucks So Hard

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.

No Doubt - Gibson Amphitheatre - 11/24/12
Timothy Norris

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.

No Doubt - Gibson Amphitheatre - 11/24/12
Timothy Norris

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.

 

No Doubt - Gibson Amphitheatre - 11/24/12
Timothy Norris

While the band's poppier, dancehall numbers like "Hella Good" and "Hey Baby" received the loudest cheers, the act was at their best when they let loose and rocked like their early days in Orange County dive bars. Older, punkier tunes like "Sunday Morning," "Just A Girl" and "Total Hate" -- a song Stefani said she never thought they would play again, but was voted into the set through their website -- were more fiery than the carefully crafted pop numbers.

After they finished the show with "Spiderwebs" and took their final bows, Stefani signed autographs for fans in the front row, while the rest of the band threw guitar picks and drumsticks into the crowd. Hiccups aside, there's no doubt that once you get past the pop gimmickry, you'd be hard-pressed to find a band that can unite fans of Top-40 and alt rock. That's an accomplishment.

The Crowd: A strange mix of families, inappropriately dressed teenaged girls and couples on date night.

Overheard in the Crowd: "I hope this is as good as the Celine Dion show I saw in New York!" -The guy sitting behind me

Random Notebook Dump: Watching a family of four get down to "Hella Good" is not something I was expecting to see.

Set list below

See also: *Our slideshow of the concert and fans

*We Ask a Designer Why No Doubt's New Record Cover Sucks So Hard

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Set list:

Push and Shove

It's My Life

Hella Good

Underneath it all

Ex Girlfriend

Hey Baby

New

Hey You (acoustic)

Sparkle (acoustic)

Simple kind of life (acoustic)

One More Summer (acoustic)

Sunday Morning

Happy Now?

Settle down

Don't Speak

Just A Girl

Encore:

Looking Hot

Total Hate

Spiderwebs

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