SINGAPORE – For her first show in the Republic in 10 years, American singer-songwriter Gwen Stefani brought both her solo hits and No Doubt numbers to life with plenty of style and fun energy.
Backed by dancers and sporting her trademark coiffed blonde hair and red lips, Stefani kicked off with the infectious Sweet Escape before segueing into tracks like Sunday Morning and Underneath It All, hit songs from the ska-pop band she fronted in the 1990s.
If anything, it proved just how timeless the No Doubt numbers were.
Her touring band might not have the same panache of the original No Doubt members like bassist Tony Kanal, guitarist Tom Dumont and drummer Adrian Young, but they brought a fresh energy that complemented Stefani’s ebullient personality.
Not that it mattered to the crowd of 45,000 who sang along all the same, to Sunday Morning and Bathwater.
Within the first 15 minutes, Stefani also picked out a fan in the crowd who held up a sign asking her to sign her arm for a tattoo and she gamely obliged.
It was a sign of the banter with the crowd to come. She frequently called Singapore “magical”, mentioning how much she loved the food here.
Stefani, who also has a high-profile role as a judge and coach on reality television show The Voice, also referenced her current partner and fellow The Voice judge, American singer Blake Shelton, before launching into the romantic Make Me Like You – adding “I wrote this song about him”.
Her versatility was also on full display.
She was all sass on super hit What You Waiting For and electro-punk number Hella Good, and turned on pure emotion for heartbreak anthem Don’t Speak.
The unstoppable performer, who ran the length of the massive Padang stage throughout the 90-minute set was equally adept at slowing it down for numbers like Cool.
The song allowed for close ups on the singer, to show off her flawless vocals and her pin-up good looks that won hearts in the 1990s, and is still winning hearts today.
She saved her biggest songs like the flirty Hey Baby and the playfully energetic Just A Girl for the end of the show, closing with Hollaback Girl.