CONCERT REVIEW: No Doubt in Houston

HOUSTON -- Looking out onto a sea of hot pink hair and Gwen Stefani look-a-likes, you could definitely tell that you were at a No Doubt concert Tuesday night at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.

Four years since the release of Tragic Kingdom, No Doubt proved it still has what it takes.

The Black Eyed Peas opened things up with its jazzy/hip-hop sound, complete with a five-piece band, a D.J. and a female vocalist to complement the flows of Will.I.Am, Apl.De.Ap and Baboo.

The California-based group's set consisted mainly of tracks from its 1998 Interscope release Behind the Front. With songs like "Fallin' Up," "Clap Your Hands" and "What It Is," the BEPs continue to sound like a West Coast version of the New York-based A Tribe Called Quest.

The trio's flows aren't as creative as ATCQ's, although its tracks are very catchy, blending the sounds of funk, jazz, hip-hop and rock as well as any other group can.

After the BEPs exited the stage, the audience was ready for Lit. With the boisterous, ear-deafening way in which the crowd reacted when Lit hit the stage, you would think it was the headliner of the concert. Lit opened its part of the show with, "Down," with lead singer A. Jay adding his signature jumps while singing.

The group also played its most well-known hits: "Zip-Lock," "Miserable" and "My Own Worst Enemy." Other songs included, "Four," "Lovely Day, " and "No Big Thing" from its CD A Place In The Sun.

Allen Shellenberger on drums, Jeremy Popoff on guitar, A. Jay Popoff for vocals and Kevin Baldes on bass all did a great job in getting the crowd geared up for No Doubt.

For its set, No Doubt had an amazing stage setup with a space-like atmosphere to fit the title of its latest CD, Return of Saturn. The ever-popular group also had a giant planet Saturn with rainbow rings hanging from the ceiling.

Each member -- Tony Kanal (bass), Tom Dumont (guitar), Adrian Young (drums), Gabrial McNair and Stephen Bradley providing additional instruments and backup vocals -- walked out on stage one-by-one. Then Gwen Stefani burst on stage with her bright hot pink hair, bare midriff and tons of energy. No Doubt instantly had the crowd going by opening with "Ex-Girlfriend."

No Doubt spread the wealth, playing songs from Tragic Kingdom ("Excuse Me Mr.," "Different People," "Sunday Morning" and others) as well as from Return of Saturn ("Simple Kind Of Life," "New" and "Staring Problem.") And what would a No Doubt show be without "Just A Girl" and "Don't Speak?"

The night came to an end with the song, "Spiderwebs," and a group bow.

After being gone for so long, No Doubt still had the same ska-punk sound with the girlie twist that fans love. Seems like nothing has changed, save for Gwen's ever-metamorphosizing hair color.


- by Erica Shillings
University Wire, 06-12-2000


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