Coachella 2024 Setxr:d:DAF_fIOmv2M:106,j:4808017440100855363,t:24041411

Can you believe this is really happening?” exclaimed Gwen Stefani midway through “Hella Good,” the opening track of No Doubt’s reunion performance at Coachella 2024. It’s been 12 years since the iconic SoCal quartet released their last album, “Push and Shove,” and their last live show together was in 2015. Throughout their set, Stefani reminded the audience of this fact several times. Since then, Stefani has transformed into a beloved figure, appearing as a judge on “The Voice” and releasing occasional singles to reaffirm her status as a vocalist, despite her past glory days as No Doubt’s front woman and a solo sensation in the 2000s now being a distant memory.

Maybe the reunion of No Doubt at Coachella acted as a powerful affirmation—a vibrant, energetic declaration—that even after more than 30 years since their debut with the 1992 self-titled album, there’s no hint of rust. The band, comprised of Stefani, bassist Tony Kanal, guitarist Tom Dumont, and drummer Adrian Young, delivered an 80-minute performance brimming with vitality and enthusiasm as if they were still the spirited teenagers depicted in vintage footage playing on the screens behind them.

No Doubt could have easily fallen into the trap of being seen as just another nostalgic act of the weekend. In some respects, they were placed in that category, sharing the main stage with artists like Sabrina Carpenter and Lil Uzi Vert from the previous day. However, their ability to maintain the same chemistry and energy since their inception, despite all members now being in their mid-50s, speaks volumes. It’s a testament to their enduring bond and the authenticity they bring to their performances.

Certainly, Stefani’s magnetic and charismatic presence was a key factor. Her delivery was nearly flawless throughout, never wasting a moment, whether ska dancing with Kanal or energizing the crowd with her stage presence. However, what truly stood out was the band’s remarkable cohesion, even after almost a decade of hiatus, breathing new life into their songs. From nostalgic callbacks like “Total Hate ’95” to the explosive opener “Hella Good,” the synergy among the members was palpable.

Originating in Anaheim, California in 1986, the group fully embraced their ska roots, evident in their dance moves, horn sections, and fashion choices, including ubiquitous plaid accents from Stefani’s boots to Young’s kilt. They delivered crowd-pleasing hits like “Ex-Girlfriend,” “It’s My Life,” “Hey Baby,” and “Don’t Speak,” interspersed with lesser-known gems like “Different People” and “Happy Now?” (It was noteworthy, however, that they omitted any songs from “Push and Shove”).

Stefani herself appeared taken aback by the sizable crowd gathered to watch their set. For the Gen Z attendees at the festival, No Doubt might be viewed as their parents’ music. Yet, remarkably, the band exuded relevance and vitality. Even when Olivia Rodrigo joined them for a duet of “Bathwater” midway through the set, it felt organic, not as an attempt to win over the audience— that connection had already been established.

This was largely because No Doubt seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves, making it seem effortless. Stefani’s playful gesture of doing 10 push-ups before “Just a Girl” exemplified this carefree attitude. We wrote this song back at the Beacon Street house in Anaheim, California, and I feel like… Well, you tell me, but I believe this song might be more relevant now than ever before. You tell me.”

Although No Doubt’s relevance may have waned in recent years, their Coachella performance felt like a triumphant return to form. It wouldn’t be surprising if this served as a precursor to a larger tour. Judging by the enthusiastic response from the crowd and their active participation during call-and-response moments, it seems there could be another exciting chapter awaiting them.

No Doubt’s Coachella Set list:

•           “Hella Good”

•           “Sunday Morning”

•           “Ex-Girlfriend”

•           “It’s My Life”

•           “Different People”

•           “Hey Baby”

•           “Total Hate ’95”

•           “Bathwater” with Olivia Rodrigo

•           “Simple Kind of Life”

•           “Underneath It All”

•           “Happy Now?”

•           “New”


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