First as a member of No Doubt, and then later on as a solo artist, Gwen Stefani provided much of the soundtrack to the Noughties. As a result, she holds a special place in many a Millennial heart. Mine included. And so I was excited to see the now 53 year old perform at this year’s British Summer Time in London’s Hyde Park. Taking to the stage as Pink’s main support act, her 70-minute set didn’t disappoint.
Starting with The Great Escape, she gave fans what they wanted – the hits. And delivered them in her characteristically quirky style.
Hey Baby, It’s My Life and Underneath It All followed, warming up the 65,000-strong crowd. The singer looked to be genuinely having fun. As a result, so did we.
Surprise guest, rapper Eve, was a highlight. A sea of smartphones rose in unison to capture the pair’s early 2000s duets Rich Girl and Let Me Blow Your Mind.
Next up came Gwen’s new song, the catchy True Babe, along with Wind It Up and What You Waiting For?
The problematic Harajuku girls that Gwen made part of her entourage for much of her solo career have long gone, although many songs still name check them.
In their place, were an army of dancers who worked up a sweat in the London heat, soaking up the sun first in red kilts, next monochrome checks and spots, then dressed as giant lips.
Singing live, Gwen’s voice fell flat in places, although Don’t Speak was pitch perfect.
“I wrote this while living at my parents’, I never thought anyone would hear it. It seems more relevant than ever now,” she said of I’m Just A Girl, referencing the ever-present imbalance between the sexes.
With Hollaback Girl, the feelgood show came to a close.
Our hour or so with Gwen was pure Noughties pop nostalgia – as slick as her red lipstick – and I loved every second.
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