Jacob Zinn :: journalist + photographer

No Doubt rocks Vancouver steady

Posted in Concert Reviews by Jacob Zinn on July 19, 2009

It was a night of no solo music, no L.A.M.B. clothing line, no Harajuku Girls, No Doubt.

Back from her solo career, Gwen Stefani rejoined her pop-punk bandmates Tony Kanal, Tom Dumont and Adrian Young for their summer reunion tour, making their 42nd stop in Vancouver.

Yesterday night, No Doubt nearly filled up GM Place for a 16-song set and a three-song encore on the final Canadian date, but not before Bedouin Soundclash and Paramore got the party started.

(I don’t like Bedouin Soundclash, so I’ll skip over that part of the show.)


Paramore kicked the show up a notch, opening with “Misery Business” off of their second album, Riot!

Like No Doubt, Paramore is fronted by a female vocalist. The orange-haired Hayley Williams leads the rest of the band with her powerful voice and high-energy stage performance.

Though their music isn’t too heavy, the guitarists partook in synchronized headbanging of the neck-snapping variety–it would surely have caused them whiplash, were they not professionals.

Other Riot! tracks included “That’s What You Get,” “For a Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic” and “Crushcrushcrush.” Paramore also played “Decode” from the Twilight soundtrack and a few songs from their upcoming album, Brand New Eyes, to be released September 29.

Save for a few new songs, most of their set was recognizable favourites and the fans sang along the entire time.

No Doubt

A crowd-pleasing warm-up act like Paramore is tough to follow, but even after a five-year hiatus, No Doubt proved why they were Saturday nights’ headliners.

The lights went up, the curtain went down and the quartet from Orange County took the stage to “Spiderwebs” off of their most successful album, the 16x-platinum Tragic Kingdom.

Guitarist Tom Dumont (top), vocalist Gwen Stefani (middle) and bassist Tony Kanal (bottom).
Set List
Hella Good
Underneath It All
Excuse Me Mr.
End It On This
Simple Kind of Life
Guns of Navarone
Hey Baby
Different People
Don’t Speak
It’s My Life
Just a Girl
Rock Steady
Stand and Deliver
Sunday Morning

Stefani danced across the whole stage during “Hella Good,” and though her dancing was like a game of hokey pokey with only the legs, it was obvious she was having fun performing.

They slowed it down with “Underneath It All” and toned-down rendition of “Excuse Me Mr.,” but sped it back up with “Ex-Girlfriend.” Footage of the band acting out their songs played on a screen in the background, often in black-and-white mixed with solid colours.

More ’90s hits such as “Bathwater” and “New” were on the set list, and during “Running,” the screen at the back showed old concert footage and home video of the group early on as teenagers just making music and goofing around on camera.

The now 39 year-old Stefani has hardly aged since these clips, one of which she said was filmed at a show in Vancouver.

“What an amazing place you guys live in,” she said, noting that the band had spent their day off in the city.

The band took everyone to 1996 with “Don’t Speak,” then to 2003 with their cover of “It’s My Life” by Talk Talk.

With her rock hard abs and red lipstick, Stefani convinced the “Canadian boys” in the audience to sing, “I’m just a girl.”

“Don’t embarrass yourselves,” she said, leading one poor sucker on the JumboTron to sheer humiliation as the camera caught him singing.

By this point, much of No Doubt’s singles discography had been played, but they went through three songs for the encore. Everyone was grooving to “Rock Steady,” a jam off of the album of the same name.

Hayley Williams of Paramore and Jay Malinowski of Bedouin Soundclash joined No Doubt on stage for a cover of “Stand and Deliver” by Adam and the Ants, complete with extra drums.

The show ended with “Sunday Morning,” and a little guitar riff of “Salesman” by Rush.

They played past 11:00 p.m., when noise by-laws take effect, but even if they get fined, it was worth it. It wouldn’t have been worth it without Doubt.



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