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No Doubt to Get Sexy on Tour

Stefani promises especially energetic show

March 8, 2002 12:00 AM ET
No Doubt perform during First Annual Entertainment Industry Foundation 'Love Rocks' Concert at The Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California.
No Doubt perform during First Annual Entertainment Industry Foundation 'Love Rocks' Concert at The Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California.
SGranitz/WireImage

The big question for the new No Doubt tour: Who's going to be in the house? Will it be the kids currently digging the multiformat hit "Hey Baby?" Or those who have followed the SoCal quintet since 1995's Tragic Kingdom? Even the band isn't sure. "I have no idea what the audience is going to be like," singer Gwen Stefani said with a laugh recently, happy to be home in Los Angeles after a seven-week trek through Europe and the U.S. "At least I know this much: We'll be playing to some people who never heard of No Doubt before "Hey Baby."

That has happened to No Doubt several times in the last fifteen years, she says: "We've gotten to be so many different kinds of bands -- we were a garage band, then a ska band, then a punk band. When we started playing more than just ska, the ska people said, 'You're over.' I'm sure we lost people, but we picked up some new people too. And then when Tragic Kingdom happened, with every single it was a totally different audience. We don't discriminate. We're not the cool band, and people who like us are not the cool people."

Noting that pop-radio listeners are hearing "Hey Baby" alongside hits by Britney Spears and other teen-targeted acts, bassist Tony Kanal views the tour as a kind of mission. "This is our chance to bring the people who listen [to pop radio] over to the rock side," he says. "Show 'em there's so much more out there." To do that, Kanal says, No Doubt will alternate highlights from previous albums with songs from the current Rock Steady. The new material is intricate: the quartet, which travels with two supporting musicians, needs four keyboard rigs to replicate the textures of "Hey Baby." All that technology doesn't bother Stefani, she says, because playing the new music so far has been euphoric live: "These are songs you can really dance to -- we were out dancing a lot when we made the record. The mood is just so up, energetic, and that dance-hall beat is the sexiest beat. I think this is probably our sexiest music."

As for making herself sexy, Stefani says that ever since the early days when she was the rare girl member of an Orange County punk band, she has enjoyed "getting all made up and doing the girl thing" before shows. These days it takes her forty-five minutes to get ready, but when she gets onstage she never thinks about being sexy. "I never really pulled that side out. Once in a while I'd throw a bellybutton around, because my dad said I couldn't go out of the house like that. But when you get onstage and you're into the music, it's not a girl thing or a guy thing. It's about getting the audience off."

No Doubt tour dates:
3/18: Sacramento, CA, Memorial Auditorium
3/20-21: Seattle, Paramount Theater
3/23: Portland, OR, Roseland Theater
3/25: San Jose, CA, Event Center Arena
3/27-28: Universal City, CA, Universal Amphitheater
3/30: Las Vegas, Hard Rock Hotel: The Joint
4/2: Orem, UT, McKay Events Center
4/3: Denver, Fillmore Auditorium
4/5: Kansas City, MO, Uptown Theater
4/6: Chicago, Aragon Ballroom
4/7: West Lafayette, IN, Elliott Hall of Music
4/9: Detroit, State Theater
4/11: Toronto, Kool Haus
4/12: Amherst, NY, Alumni Arena/University of Buffalo
4/14: Ithaca, NY, Cornell University
4/15: Lowell, MA, Paul E. Tsongas Arena
4/17-18, 20: New York, Roseland
4/22: Philadelphia, Electric Factory
4/23: Pittsburgh, PA, Amphitheater at Station Square
4/25: Cleveland, OH, Tower City Amphitheater
4/26: Washington, DC, Charles E. Smith Center
4/27: Charlotte, NC, Center Cityfest
4/29: Myrtle Beach, SC, House of Blues
5/1: Lake Buena Vista, FL, House of Blues
5/2: West Palm Beach, FL, Sunfest
5/4: Nashville, River Stages
5/7: Houston, Verizon Wireless Theater
5/9: Austin, TX, Austin Music Hall
5/10: Dallas, Bronco Bowl
5/12: Bernalillo, NM, Santa Ana Star Casino

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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