Friday night was the Slipknot show. Saturday was the Top Secret Metal Fest which featured some of the best local metal bands the Twin Cities have to offer. Last night was Gwen Stefani… yeah, my weekend got a little weird.

I was supposed to spend last night getting caught up on work e-mails and sleep but when I got the text from my buddy I just couldn’t resist. I mean, come on, it’s Gwen Stefani! How in the hell was I going to say no!?

I knew what I was getting into. It was a pop show. It was a pop queen. I had a feeling it was going to be full of costume changes, tracked vocals, and scripted banter between songs. I was honestly not expecting much from the show but much like when I went to see Madonna, I was pleasantly surprised. Sure there were tracked vocals and the banter between Gwen and the crowd seemed a little fake but she was entertaining and when she really was singing, you could tell she had talent and there was a reason why she is still a force to be reckoned with after all of these years.

Gwen Stefani was an inspiration to me growing up. She was the front woman to No Doubt and had a sense of style like no one else I had ever seen. She was edgy and punk but still approachable. She was like a gateway drug for me. Her old band, No Doubt, was the soundtrack to my middle school and high school years. The music was fun and like nothing I had ever heard. It had a bit of reggae, a little punk, and a whole lot of rock all mixed into one album. It was perfection.

When Gwen went solo, I kind of fell off the wagon. It wasn’t that I hated her solo stuff but it just wasn’t the same and had already moved on from my pop days. Of course I would sing along to Hollaback Girl when it came on the radio and when I heard her new song during the Super Bowl last year I definitely downloaded the single but it just wasn’t the same.

I thought for sure that Gwen was only going to play her solo stuff. I knew that she wrote the lyrics for most of No Doubt’s songs but I figured the legality of playing those songs would probably be a freaking nightmare. I was truly shocked when she  broke out a couple No Doubt songs. She started to perform I’m Just a Girl and it truly lit that spark in me. I hadn’t heard that song in years but as soon as it started, my friends and turned into dancing fools. I’m sure we looked like idiots but who cares, we were so excited to hear this song from our childhood.

Sure, there were things I didn’t like about the show last night. I was super bummed that she didn’t play Spiderwebs. My annoyance level hit an all time high when Blake Shelton (country singer who Gwen is supposedly bumping uglies with) joined her on stage. But all in all, what a freaking great show and what a truly talented and great performer Gwen is.

I was supposed to stay home last night and get caught up on work. It had been a weekend full of metal music and I was exhausted. I got the text from my buddy and went straight to a Gwen Stefani concert…. my weekend got weird quick but I think I liked it.

Line Up:


Gwen Stefani


Venue: Xcel Energy Center

Sausage Fest Meter- 1 out of 10

Average Age of the Crowd- 40

Crowd Surfers- None

Stage Divers-None

Moshability- None

Banana Costumes- 2

Broken Bones- None

Drunkards Taken Out By Security- None Noticed

Celebrity Sightings- None

Overall Score- 7 out of 10

Show on Deck- Frank Turner/ Flogging Molly