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No Doubt on the 'Go!':
Gwen and company order a willing crowd about at the Edge

By Sarah Quelland

IT'S BEEN A YEAR AND A HALF since No Doubt last toured, and the band's little eight-club teaser jaunt up and down the West Coast (which brought it to the Edge last Sunday) is its only tour of '99. Bounding onstage for a sold-out crowd, the band--featuring the bubbly Gwen Stefani on vocals, Tom Dumont on guitar, Tony Kanal on bass, Adrian Young on drums and the ever-present horn section--was greeted with tremendous enthusiasm. The night kicked off with "New" (from the Go! soundtrack), and Gwen came out like a pop diva with a glamour-puss cotton-candy-pink hairdo, a Barbie-doll hot pink sparkly off-the-shoulder belly-baring top, black pants with matching hot pink zippers and chunky hot pink boots. From the Valley Girl bounce of "Sunday Morning" to the biting delight of "Happy Now?" to the soft heartbreak of "Don't Speak," Gwen captured the audience. The band tried out four new songs--"Bath Water," "Simple Kind of Life," "Ex-Girlfriend" and "Marry Me"--from its forthcoming album scheduled to be released early next year. After more than 10 years together, No Doubt and its delicious fusion of candy-coated pop, ska, punk, New Wave and reggae rock finally came into vogue in 1995 with its album Tragic Kingdom, which spawned one hit after another.

The new songs show a growth within the band, without abandoning the effervescent No Doubt sound. Although the new material went over well, naturally the more familiar songs really stirred the crowd up. Gwen's known for toying with her admirers, particularly her male ones. During "Just a Girl," she commanded the boys to sing, saying in her sugar-and-spice little-girl voice, "The girls have to shush. Are you ready, men?" before leading them in a chant of "I'm just a girl." Enthusiastically capping off the set with "Excuse Me, Mr.," she pouted, "Are you too tired?" to those stage left of her and girlishly told those on the other side, "They're too tired. Are you too tired too?" There's something about Gwen's hiccuppy, Betty Boop-style vocals encouraging the audience to yell "Fuck you, mister" that's positively endearing. After leaving the stage momentarily, the band returned for an encore, ultimately closing out the evening with "Spiderwebs."

On a more local level, another female-fronted band, Spike 1000, performed last Thursday at the Usual with Empty and Dick. Led by vocalist Shannon Harris and featuring guitarist Bill Thompson, bassist Mike Hennick and drummer Jeff Jones, this band from San Francisco delivers a sweaty, aggressive live show. Frontwoman Harris really makes Spike 1000 one to watch. Looking something like a hard-edged Uma Thurman, she rages and writhes onstage during angry songs like "Favor" and "Sucking Spikes." But it was during the slower "Absent" that I found myself riveted as she pleaded, "Maybe you wouldn't do it, but I would/I would be your hero/I thought you'd be my hero/Please, won't you be my hero."

Papa Roach, Insolence, Empty and Major Liegue will be at the Edge tonight (Oct. 14) as part of the Ultravibe.com launch party. This will be the last chance to catch Papa Roach before the band heads into the studio to work on its DreamWorks Records debut, tentatively titled Infest, due out early next year. ... The Lonely Kings, Salmon and the CONDITIOn have a show at the Vets Hall in Santa Cruz Oct. 16. ... Limp Bizkit headlines this year's Family Values tour Oct. 19 at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. Filter, Primus, Staind and Method Man & Redman are also lined up for the night.

Plan Ahead

Triple Seven, Oct. 15 at the Cactus Club; M.I.R.V. and dredg, Oct. 16 at the Cactus; Pennywise and Strung Out, Oct. 16 at Maritime Hall in San Francisco; L7, Oct. 17 at the Edge; Warrant, Oct. 20 at the Edge; Old 97s, Oct. 20 at the Great American Music Hall; Sick of It All, Oct. 20 at Slim's in San Francisco; ABC, Oct. 21 at the Edge; Bruce Springsteen, Oct. 25-26 at the Oakland Arena; John Paul Jones, Oct. 28 at the Fillmore; Good Riddance, Oct. 31 at the Cocodrie; Diamanda Galás, Oct. 31 at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley; Suicidal Tendencies, Nov. 2 at Palookaville in Santa Cruz; Kid Rock and Powerman 5000 Nov. 26 at the San Jose State Event Center.

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From the October 14-20, 1999 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 1999 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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