www.ambiente.us  JUNE | JUNIO 2009

“Sippin’ on Chamomile” |
Cruzan Amphitheatre presents No Doubt
story and photography by Armando Diaz Jr.

I have to be honest but I was absolutely psyched when I had the opportunity to attend
the recent No Doubt concert at West Palm Beach’s Cruzan Amphitheatre, as part of
their 2009 Summer Reunion Tour.  I had been running so late that Wednesday evening
due to a series of unfortunate delays that I missed the opening act of Paramore!  But
between us….it didn’t bug me so much.  My VIP badge got me where I needed to go,
which I was totally thankful for that….thanks Barry!

The group had officially announced their plans for the summer tour in January 2009 via
MTV News.  ND has certainly come a long way (time wise) from their days as local
West Coast ska favorites, however the formula remains the same.  Passion plus
creative simple visuals multiplied by a mix of classic hits and hot new singles equals a
kick ass show!

I have been a fan of ND since the days of The Beacon Street Collection album (which I
find to be their best album), when Tony Kanal was still somewhat the
manager of the group, before
taking up his full time bassist duties
and before his relationship split
with Gwen Stefani.  In that same MTV
News release Stefani stated the reason
behind the tour was to perform their
favorite songs and explore new musical

The deliciously zany part of all this, is
that themes, colors, sets, and an
overall look and feel has already
been applied to this tour without
the band having yet officially released
their new album.  Stefani paved the direction for that “look”, drawing inspiration from
modernist movies of the late 60’s, primarily A Clockwork Orange.  So Google-it if you
must, but picture this vibe for a moment….those loud splashy party 1960’s colors with a
cold and clean 2001: A Space Odyssey edge.  No? Ok then, imagine an army of insane
mushrooms from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, invading a room inside a Cylon base
star from the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series.  That’s the best I can do!

The band’s set list was kind of expected but not really.  It was still a warm and inviting
surprise for them to play pretty much every single fan favorite of the last 15 years.  You
know you go to these shows and you understand the group you’re they’re to see has to
promote their new album.  ND however seemed to play extra long, extra liking it to the
chagrin of hundreds of satisfied fans, while still

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dropping new and upcoming tracks.  

Among the classics they started off with “Spiderwebs” which took me back to Gwen in
that shimmery yellow tank top, glossy blonde ponytail and facial piercing which I can’t
remember if it was on her eyebrow or her lip?  But damn she looks fantastic for 40! And
the continued energy in her performance!  They continued with “Hella Good”,
“Bathwater”, “Underneath It All” and “Excuse Me Mr.” They were so into their
performance, with Gwen constantly traversing from one end of the stage to the other
under the large screens flashing eerie images from  A Clockwork Orange and I want to
say I saw a few scenes from Logan’s Run but I may be wrong, I was too busy hopping
up and down whilst keeping my camera away from Security.  

The show continues with “Ex-Girlfriend”, “Happy Now?”, and “Simple Kind of Life” all
tracks that are blunt nods to Stefani’s long term love for Tony Kanal.  It makes it so
much more personal obviously when you know what’s behind these songs, and
sometimes so much more emotional an experience even when surrounded by invasive
flash lights, plastic beer jugs and the glow of mobile phone screens.   
                                                                                           After the interlude they
                                                                                           continued with “Hey Baby”,
                                                                                           the very high energy single
                                                                                           “New”, which I remember
                                                                                           discovering after watching
                                                                                           the movie Go (love that
                                                                                           movie), “Running”, “End It
                                                                                           On This” and of course
                                                                                           “Don’t Speak” which I
                                                                                           recognized by raising my
                                                                                           own mobile into the air and
                                                                                           moving it back and forth
                                                                                           slowly.  Ah, the mobile
                                                                                           phone screen has of course
replaced the lighter in the 21st century, I mean who wants to burn their fingers

Moving on to their cover of “It’s My Life” and yes indeed, “Just A Girl”.  After a few sips
from my frozen margarita I was singing along and bopping my head to the estrogen
infused track singing along with all the females in the audience, even when she asked
“where’s my girls at?” Ha!  Who cares?  I didn’t understand all the guys holding back, I
know they wanted to Holla’ Back.

As people were making a mad dash for the exit to avoid the mayhem of the parking
situations, ND hits the lights with a 4 track encore!  “Rock Steady”, “Stand and Deliver”,
Different People” and “Sunday Morning”.  It seemed like 5 tracks so I hope I’m not
mistaken there.

There has been a hush rumor floating around that No Doubt might be one of the
headliners for Lollapalooza 2009, but you know how that goes.  And all that seems to
remind me of is my Airwalks that I would match to one of the (10) thrift store gas station
attendant shirts I used to own,  But let’s not venture there.  Keep on the lookout for the
end of their summer tour and release of the new
album, I know I will!  

No Doubt consists of
vocalist Gwen Stefani, bassist Tony Kanal,
guitarist Tom Dumont and drummer
Adrian Young

CLICK HERE for more Armando Diaz

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