“I never doubted it!” screamed one paparazzi as No Doubt took the stage, summing up the thoughts of an ecstatic crowd around 60,000 strong. Last night at the 3rd Annual Global Citizen Festival in Central Park, No Doubt was frozen in time, slaying all the hits like it was 2002 again.
There is a certain kind of apprehension that comes along with seeing one of your favorite childhood bands perform in their later years, but No Doubt put all my fears to rest last night. 44-year-old Gwen Stefani took my girl crush to new heights as she ruled the stage with her gorgeous figure, sleek blonde hair, and black dip-dyed bangs. Can we note here that she has 3 kids? All boys, no less? Superhero.
No Doubt’s setlist at the Global Citizen Festival included “Hella Good,” “Sunday Morning,” “Underneath it All” “I’m Just a Girl,” “Simple Kind of Life,” “It’s My Life,” “Push & Shove,” “Hey Baby,” “Don’t Speak,” and “Spiderwebs.” The Anaheim rockers looked smoking hot as they blasted through classics, and Stefani’s voice sounded so rich that it’s a struggle not to use the word “perfect.” For their last song, No Doubt teamed up with Sting for a show-stopping performance of “Message in a Bottle.” At that point, the excellence was too much to handle and my heart just melted like fondue. They made it seem easier than breathing.
Some moments just cannot go unmentioned, like their performance of “Underneath it All.” The brass in that song was so sharp and sexy that I was tearing through pages in my notebook in the dark just to scrawl out the word “TRUMPET.” As if I could forget. I also loved when Stefani made a ray gun with her hands and swept it across the crowd to start off “Hey Baby,” a track that opens with speedy laser noises on the album.
But one of the biggest highlights was in the very first song, when Stefani broke into “Hella Good” to address the crowd over the driving beat. With deliberate and spacious words, she pierced the cheers to say “Every – single – person – here took action. So I wanna see every –single – person – in this crowd – jumping with me!” As soon as she said it, a chill rushed over me from head to toe. When the sea of bodies started making tidal waves with their jumps, I was overcome with the thought that it was one of the coolest things I had ever seen. I still think so.