It's been 11 years since No Doubt released their breakthrough album, Tragic Kingdom, and thrust their lead singer Gwen Stefani into the limelight. With songs sung earnestly, like "Don't Speak", I had a hunch then that this quirky ska-sounding singer would become huge someday. Fast forward to 2007, Gwen Stefani, treated me and Vic, along with 6000-other screaming fans - with her self-admitted, "dance music"!
Frankly, it's probably the most fun I had in a live show since Madonna's Confessions tour last year. You can really sense that Gwen is a pro when it came to live shows. She knew how to warm up the audience, tickle their fancies, kiss their "asses", and bring the usually reserved HK audience to its feet - throughout the show! I never even sat, even when she sang her supposed ballads.
Today, in tribute to Gwen's L.A.M.B brand, I decided to wear an L.A.M.B-inspired outfit. Its a violet velvet sweatshirt with a hood, an adult urbane statement I wanted to make, as a tribute to Gwen and the burgeoning of urban dance and hip hop music that so dominates youth culture nowadays. Of course, it had to look adult enough since I'm 36 already, LOL, and I accented it with enough gold bling-bling, nothing obscene, but very stylish - Filipino-designed by the way - in that bling-bling shop in GB3, I think the bling designer's name is Joyce Orena or something like that - and it's a good start to my desire to design some clothes for men. Since everyone is wearing the same stuff in the street nowadays, to look slightly different with a twist, like what I did tonight, was quite a nice experience!
I will still watch the show in Bangkok on Sunday, so I get another chance to shimmy up my yo!-yo! moves! My favorite part was when Gwen surprisingly went around the arena towards the center, then towards the people at the back. While singing "Cool", she precariously, stood up on the ledge, holding on carefully to the railings, while hundreds of her mainly female fans at the back of the arena, had the time of their life, seeing her sing so closely to them. The shrill intensity of the shouts throughout the show - probably buoyed by the presence of many many female teen fans of Gwen, certainly upped the energy level of the show. I practically sang along to most of her songs, especially "4 In The Morning" (I can play this in the keyboard already) and a personal favorite from her present album - "An Early Winter".
Gwen, your self-admitted accidental foray to "pop dance music" has endeared you to many. I did snub your album when it first came out, since admit it, Love.Angel.Music. Baby, although had high points like "Cool" and "Crash" and "Rich Girl", did not quite compare with the immense work you did for No Doubt. I got a copy of "The Sweet Escape", just a month before your show so as to familiarize with your new work, and I am discovering gems in it everyday. "An Early Winter" has become my new "in pain" song, and your personal favorite, "A Wonderful Life", has become one of mine's too. I didn't think much of "4 In the Morning", till I learned to play it in my keyboard just a week ago, with the help of my keyboard teacher, Mike. It's now my new "true love" mantra! Weird that albums which I though were garbage turn out to be gems, and albums which I think are gems, turn out to be rubbish. I should stop being snooty!!!
I wouldn't be surprised if you become a gay icon soon, when your teenybopper fans get to earn real money. There were a considerable number of very young gay people in the audience tonight, a wonderful sign of a long career for you, for we gay people, are very loyal to our "queens"! Your energy tonight was intense! To you, we holla back - go on girl!