Sunday night delivered a bright and beautiful Mother’s Day gift in the form of Gwen Stefani and the boys of No Doubt who played to a sold-out crowd at Santa Ana Star Casino.
Flocks of No Doubt fans were ready to party when No Doubt hit the stage and broke out with “Hella Good” from their latest release and fifth album, “Rock Steady.”
Wearing her signature style of colorful clothing, Gwen sparkled in a rainbow ensemble of dark green pants, a short white tank top and a crimson tie loosely tied around her neck.
The tireless Gwen mesmerized the audience with her unabashed energy. Onlookers grooved along with the free-spirited singer as she danced to the wild beats.
Dancehall, the exuberant evolution of reggae, ska and calypso, proved a potent point of the No Doubt concert.
The quartet from Anaheim spiced things up by mixing and matching songs from their string of best-selling albums “Tragic Kingdom” and “Return to Saturn.”
Fans like two teenage girls in the front row jumped up and down to the hummable, instantly recognizable songs such as “Ex-Girlfriend” and “Hey Baby.”
Like mirror images of one another, the best friends rocked back and forth, arms entwined, before declaring their admiration for bassist Tony Canal and his blonde mohawk. “We love you,” they shouted.
Each member of the band made a personal connection with the crowd, including the dapper guitarist, Tony Dumont, in a professional black suit and Drummer Adrian Young, wearing only baby blue boxers.
The creative concert marked the band’s final destination on the 40-city No Doubt tour. “New Mexico is the grand finale, the final destination,” Gwen told the crowd.
She challenged the fans from the Land of Enchantment to beat Utah as the “most happening” audience. From the sound of the applause and the way fans jumped for joy, it was clear New Mexico was No. 1.
“Don’t let it go away. This feeling has got to stay,” fans sang in unison with the platinum blonde vocalist.
The party rocked on with fans of all ages, including little girls sitting with their parents, and older teens savoring the scene, to larger rowdy clusters of friends, with pink or spiked hair.
No Doubt slowed down with fan favorites “Don’t Speak” and “Simple Kind of Life.” To observe the facial expressions of Gwen and her bandmates was like watching art imitate life. That signature “Gwen” smile turned to a puzzled look of apprehension and fear, before breaking into a glorious grin of sheer excitement.
The rock show came to an impressive close when Gwen added a unique twist to the classic female anthem, “I’m Just a Girl … in New Mexico.” Swarms of guys and girls pleaded for the foursome to come back.
An electric encore began with one of the trumpet players pouring Fritos all over the front row. Fans took a break from crowd surfing to munch on a few chips. Looking out across the sea of anxious faces, Gwen grinned mischievously and jumped on Tony’s back while holding on tight to the microphone.
Yes, after 15 years together, the California rockers continue to make music magic. The stage is their home. And, with two sold out performances at Santa Ana Star Casino, No Doubt is concluding its “Rock Steady” tour with an enchanting ending.