Thursday, August 06, 2009
I wish I could take credit for discovering No Doubt in the early days. It was my best friend in high school who told me about this insanely cool ska band from Anaheim called No Doubt. I listened to their self-titled debut album and was intrigued enough to check them out live.
We somehow heard that they were playing a warehouse in Orange back in 1994 when we were record shopping at Bionic records in Cypress. I will never forget being in a cramped warehouse watching No Doubt play to a small legion of devoted fans as they played a lot of tracks off their soon to be released Beacon Street Collection.
It is hard to believe that fifteen years later they would sell out four nights at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine. Even more astonishing is the fact that they did it without even releasing a new album. It was impossible not to smile while taking in their electric performance and thinking that they were having the time of their life on stage.
Even though they hail from Sweden, The Sounds seem to play the Los Angeles and Orange County area quite often. I even have a review of them back in November 2006 when they played the Galaxy theater with the Japanese Motors. I unfortunately missed their headlining secret show at the Key Club on their day off the No Doubt tour.
The Sounds may have the same background as they did in 2006 but definitely have a new album Crossing The Rubicon. Faced with a brief time slot, Maja Ivarsson (Vocals) quickly tore into the synthesizer fueled "Tony The Beat" from their prior album Dying To Say This To You.
The lyrics to "Hurt You" were playfully acted out onstage between Maya and her co-conspirators Felix Rodriguez (Guitars) and Jesper Anderberg (Guitars/Synthesizers)."Beatbox" and "Hope You're Happy Now" rounded out their way too short of a set. Luckily, The Sounds will be back at the Greek Theater on October 21st and at the House of Blues San Diego on October 23rd.
I don't think you could pack anymore people into the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine on both of the nights that I attended. The fire marshal must have been on vacation or a big fan because it was ridiculously stuffed. It was humorous to note that they even converted some of the men's bathrooms to women's in order to accommodate the 9:1 female to male ratio.
"Spiderwebs" was the perfect opener to the evening with its bouncy guitars courtesy of Tom Dumont (Guitars) and the loopy bass of Tony Kanal (Bass). Adrian Young was perched atop a large white spider shaped space ship. While Gwen attracts a lot of the attention, it is the combined skill, musicianship and chemistry of all the members that make No Doubt one of the top live bands today.
No Doubt unleashed hit after hit by tackling "Hella Good", "Underneath It All" and "Excuse Me Mr." in a row. In the photography department, I was a kid in the candy store. The stage lighting must have been designed by a concert photographer with numerous hot white spotlights following each band member and a gigantic colorful LCD screen behind them.
One would think that playing that many nights in a row might grow tedious, but the permanent grins attached to each member of the band could not be faked. I was particularly impressed with Gwen bringing individual fans up on stage to sign autographs and pose for pictures in between the songs. I can say that I haven't seen that at a show.
"New" was one of the highlights of the set with its driving palm-muted guitar riff and Virus like analog keyboard stabs. Synthesizers also played a large role in "Hey Baby" with the bass line making everyone's hips move. The crowd was going crazy throughout the evening with the whole lawn jumping up and down at the direction of Gwen at one point.
The spry cover of "Stand And Deliver" featured the assistance of Maja from the Sounds and Katy Perry. Katy Perry seemed to be shellshocked that she was even onstage with No Doubt because she barely sang. "Sunday Morning" closed out the evening in grand fashion that still left the 16,000 plus people wanting more. It seems that No Doubt could have sold out 4 more nights in Irvine if they wanted to.
Monday, August 03, 2009
Check out my photos of No Doubt at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine over at OC Weekly.
I caught Gwen Stefani in Las Vegas for her tour in support of her solo album here.
Friday, November 03, 2006
Sometimes trolling the ticketmaster website pays off. Anyone remember back in the day where you could see the whole list of ticketmaster events without checking each venue. Well I stumbled upon The Sounds at the Galaxy and could not pass it up. I had never seen them but heard they put on an amazing show. The Galaxy is an interesting venue. I got to the show early to get parking because they charge you $10 if you show up late. I pulled up around 7:20 and the lot was almost full so I knew that getting a decent spot for pics would be tough. The will call line was extremely long due to the fact that all the 21 and under folks had to buy $5 dollar drink tickets. I had also checked the Galaxy website and it mentioned Ladytron was on the bill. I was skeptical because it wasn't listed anywhere else. When I picked up my ticket I glanced at the set times and saw no Ladytron. So I dejectedly walked in hoping for a super rocking set from the Sounds. The pit was already 3/4 full so I opted for a dinner seat. Japanese Motors came on after I polished off my chicken strips and played a punk/rockabily set. The crowd was appreciative because it gave them an excuse to start a pit. Ima Robot was on afterwards and rambled thru their set. I have seen them before open for Hot Hot Heat and She Wants Revenge but wasn't that impressed. They do have their moments with "Dynomite" and "Black Jetta". During the intermission, Depeche Mode "Strangelove" was blasting thru the speakers and I was impressed with the DJ and low and behold its Daniel from Ladytron on the decks. Mira and Reuben also were helping out. Daniel also spun The Knife which I will see this Saturday. They all vacated and The Sounds came and rocked the stage. Apparently Jack's Surfboards put out some fat cash to get them to play this show prior to their opening slot for the Angels & Airwaves tour as evidenced by all the banners in the venue. Maja was a dynamo easily capturing the crowd and running everywhere on stage. She even stage dived into the crowd during the finale. They are coming back on Dec 2nd at the Wiltern so get your tickets now. After the show ended the crowd emptied out and Ladytron came back out to a sparse crowd. Luckily... Reuben was really cool and I took some pictures for some other fans. Reuben mentioned that Ladytron would be back in December. I ended up getting a picture with Daniel, Mira, and Reuben for which I can't thank them enough. Overall a great show and as Mira said to me before they jetted off... Cheers!!!!