The wait is over: [artist id="1003"]No Doubt[/artist] officially ended a nearly five-year concert hiatus on Friday (May 1), taking the stage on the "Today" show for a three-song set that showed they haven't missed a beat.
Though the skies over New York's Rockefeller Center were overcast, ND were sunny enough to cut through the dark clouds, beaming, rocking and swaying — and sounding great — much to the delight of the squealing audience, some of whom had been waiting since 2 a.m. to catch the return of the Orange County legends.
"This is amazing, it feels so good to know they're back together," Carly Balusco, who slept on the sidewalk to catch the show, yelled. "I just saw them backstage, and they look amazing. Can't wait to see the tour. My heart's pumping so hard right now."
"This is my 13th No Doubt show. I'm seeing them tomorrow, I'm seeing them at Bamboozle, and I had to see them today, for the first show," added Elle Lensith, who was jammed in near the stage, added. "It's so awesome they're back. They're timeless, and they'll always be great."
And they were. The band — Gwen Stefani in a black Fred Perry top, bleached-out jeans, platforms and red suspenders, the rest of the guys wearing white from head-to-toe (aside from drummer Adrian Young's striped knee-socks) — kicked things off with "Spiderwebs," bobbing slowly to the ska guitar rhythm and breezy horn lines. Stefani ordered the audience to throw their hands up (and boy, did they), then pogo'ed from side-to-side. Bassist Tony Kanal and guitarist Tom Dumont exchanged giddy smiles, and the crowd sang along with every word. It was like it was 1995 all over again.
"Don't Speak" was next. Stefani clutched the microphone tight, closed her eyes and belted it out, as the thousands of No Doubt fans packed into Rockefeller served as her back-up singers.
They closed with "It's My Life," their Talk Talk cover from 2003. Again, the audience sang along loudly, but Dumont, Kanal and Young — plus ND's two auxiliary musicians — really got the chance to shine here, creating a muscley bit of New Wave shimmer that seemed to lift the clouds, if only for a second.
And then, with the audience cheering and chanting their names, No Doubt embraced in the middle of the stage, waved their hands and departed. A pair of warm-up shows await: Saturday at the Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey; and then Sunday at the Bamboozle Festival at the Meadowlands. Then it's on to their big summer tour with Paramore. Judging from what fans saw today, ND are more than ready right now.
"They'll always stick together, they'll always be a family. They'll always be great," Jennifer Sanduca, told us after the performance. "It's like they never took a break, seeing them up there today."