Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Yummy, Head to Toe

I'll be the first to admit how excited I was when I heard Gwen Stefani was releasing a second solo album. Sure, it meant another No Doubt record would be an even longer wait, but if it was anywhere near as funky as her first, the wait would be worth it. But when "The Sweet Escape" finally dropped, it sounded kinda bland and inadequate. Repeated listenings have made it grow on me somewhat, but it's still nothing compared to "Love. Angel. Music. Baby." But did any of that mean I would miss Gwen's perfomance last night? Of course not!
In attendance were Chad, Chase, Chris, Doug, Kyle, Nick, Ryan, and me. We had lower bowl seats just to the right of the stage. The first opener was Lady Sovereign, a British, white, female rapper whose thick working-class London accent made her nearly unintelligible, but her beats were no less addictive. The second act was Akon, the R&B singer/rapper featured on the title track to Gwen's new album. I'm not familiar with Akon's work, but apparently everyone else was. He really knew how to work the crowd, and defintely had everyone excited for Gwen's arrival.

Gwen Stefani
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Finally, Gwen and her Harajuku Girl entourage came out singing "The Sweet Escape." That girl definitely has a commanding stage presence (and some of the nicest legs ever created by God). She drifted through the set, focusing on the second album, but throwing in songs from the first album to keep everyone interested. The middle section of the show seemed to lag a little bit due to the consecutive placement of several ballads, but just as people were starting to sit down, she'd break into "Wind It Up" or "Hollaback Girl" to get people dancing. But I don't think I stopped dancing the whole time. We even got Chase and Nick to dance, which was definitely an interesting sight. Overall, I didn't think the show itself was as impressive as last time I saw her, but the fact there were so many of us there made it more fun.
Most shows I attend are alt-rock bands in small clubs with not much going on other than the band, so whenever I see a high-production show with tons of lights and dancers and stage changes, it's nearly overwhelming. There's so much going on, it's difficult to focus on one thing, but last night, it wasn't hard to keep my eyes on Gwen. She can wind me up any day.

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