No Doubt, Paramore and The Sounds
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Fiddler's Green Ampitheater, Englewood, Co
This was an exciting week for me. There are very few venues in the metro area that I have yet to experience, including Fiddler's Green and (yes) Red Rocks. I am quite abashed to be admitting this to you. Fortunately for my concert reputation, I would be gracing these two venues on consecutive nights for two very nostalgic shows.
When No Doubt announced their reunion tour, I had very mixed feelings. There exists a very short list of bands I have never seen live, and No Doubt was on that list. However, I don't know, nor like, much after Tragic Kingdom. No Doubt has a very interesting history, including two ska-heavy albums No Doubt and The Beacon Street Collection, before they went eight times platinum. As their music took a peculiar turn into New Wave-stardom, I lost interest. Then I found tickets for fifteen bucks. Sold.
Most outdoor ampitheaters in Colorado are enchanting due to your surroundings. On the other hand, Fiddler's Green is located amidst towering business buildings, 300 yards from I-25. Magical. Our walk between parking and music consisted of two city blocks loaded with tour buses, trailers and semis full of lighting equipment . This was going to be a production.
While waiting for booze, DJ and I became observers at the zoo. The inebriated crowd consisted of gays, lesbians and teeny boppers. I didn't realize I had come to a festival. After we received our $9 Miller Light (a big "fuck you" to Coors, who previously owned the venue), we swam through the sea of sissies to the merch booth. Judging by the prices, the people attending this show are not frequent concert goers. Hoodies for $85, CDs for $15. Too bad I spent all my money on beer.
Our perfect timing spared us of Paramore (whew!). No Doubt came out fighting with "Spiderwebs", sporting mohawks and suspenders, even a horn section! Who says ska is dead? Bassist Tony Kanal and guitarist Tom Dumont extended their opener with an instrumental, as Gwen Stephani poroused the stage, eying the crowd. A slew of hits followed, including "Underneath It All" and "Excuse Me Mr.", presented club-dub stylie. During a cover of the Skatalites’ classic “Guns of Navarone,” the crowd, most of who had no concept of the artistry involved with this dance move, was challenged to a skanking contest. DJ appropriately labelled the result "one-tone".
After their old-school stint, No Doubt traded guitars for keyboards, suspenders for glitter tops and pop-art lighting effects. We suddenly found ourselves in a dance club, as "Hella Good" and keyboardist Stephen Bradley's rapping reverberated on the speakers. Just prior to exiting the stage, No Doubt wooed the predominately female crowd with "Don't Speak" and "Just a Girl", leaving a booming statium itching for more.
Like that shit? Here's more!
Apple Core - Gwen's first band with brother Eric and singer John Spence (let me know if you can find any music, I have been unable to do so)
Invincible Overlord - Guitarist Tom Dumont's side project
The Still Life - Drummer Adrian Young helped compose the score for this film