oh, no doubt, you'll always have my heart.

The first time I saw No Doubt in concert I was probably 15 or 16 years old. My older brother and I drove to the best venue in Detroit-- St. Andrew's Hall-- for the Tragic Kingdom tour. The album had just dropped and they were still virtually unknown to the masses. Which was great for us.

We were packed in with a few hundred other third wave ska enthusiasts, standing room only, and we were in the front. The show was incredible. The band members were a cohesive unit, all moshing and jumping and playing a show. Gwen's abs were amazing. Tony sweat on us a little bit. At some point a fan threw a t-shirt onto the stage, which hit Gwen in the face mid-song and wrapped itself around her head. The music stopped. You could have heard a pin drop. She lowered the microphone and removed the t-shirt from her head. Everyone just kind of stood there for a minute... then, without a word, she put the t-shirt on!, the music started right where they left off and the crowd went nuts. And that's when I fell in love with No Doubt.

My sister called me on Wednesday night. "Dude. No Doubt and Paramore are coming to Detroit on Friday. Wanna go?" Besides the fact that it was No Doubt, which made my answer an automatic Hellz Yeah, I love me some Riot and All We Know Is Falling so, uh, yes please.

When I told Phil, and mentioned that the last time I saw No Doubt was probably nine or ten years ago, he kind of laughed and said, "What does that say about No Doubt?" That they're still relevant. That's what. My sister and I debated on floor seats but just weren't up for the moshing/rowdiness that I remembered from No Doubt concerts past. So after determining that you just can't put a price tag on the experience we purchased some awesome level two seats on Ebay and all systems were go. 

I forgot one thing.

No Doubt is no longer the No Doubt of the Beacon Street Collection era. They are Gwen Stefani and those other guys. They are, like, stars now. And they're almost 40 and I'm not 17 anymore and they were wearing costumes and ohmygoodnesswherethehellisthemoshpit? So it goes without saying (to everyone but me I guess) that I slightly overestimated the rambunctiousness quotient (zero) and slightly underestimated the number of attendees who hadn't even born yet when Gwen got hit in the face with that t-shirt so many years ago. Yes, everyone there last night either needed supervision or was there to supervise. We may have been the only people our age who were there to drink beer and rock out. And rock out we did.

As for the concert itself... it was pretty awesome. It made me want to be a rock star. It made me want to do lots of sit-ups. But mostly it took me back to my teenage years of seeing a band that I loved, leaving a concert voiceless and drenched in sweat, and being an honest-to-goodness fan of something great.

And I think that's why I love No Doubt so much. Their music is a big part of my memories and their fun punk/ska style got me through my teen-angsty phase relatively unscathed (well, if you don't count a few misguided years of bleached hair, over-plucked eyebrows and lots of red lipstick, that is).

Ska may be No Doubt's schtick now but they'll still rock your face off.

And Gwen's abs still look amazing.


tiffany said...

i saw them open for bush in 94. freaking awesome.

Bex said...

oh ska. oh no doubt. oh how i love thee's.

my parents went to see the rolling stones in the nineties. there were so many old people rocking out in a stadium. i totally mocked them. but after reading your post - being of the approx same age as you and approx same stage of life as you, maybe slightly less cool than you, i guess that could be me: an old lady in a stadium rocking out to the reunion tour of the cranberries.

Amy said...

Just saw this for some reason. How fun! I love your defense to Phil--"Um, they're still RELEVANT!" lol

I haven't been to a real concert in I don't know how long. This post makes me want to go, though!