Sunday, November 04, 2007

how i will be the first to say that i was beyond pleasantly surprised

the first lady of steveohville got us tickets to see gwen stefani in oakland. now, i dig gwen stefani. i do. find a red-blooded heterosexual male (or homosexual, for that matter) who doesn't. i'm just skeptical about her as a musician. when she was with no doubt, i can readily admit that i fell in love with her. she was hot. she was athletic. she sang her ass off, and the music was amazing.

then she went solo, and everything changed. she began to dress like an alien. she put on way too much makeup. she married a hack. and her music? overly produced. lyrics written like a twelve-year-old. and dance music really isn't my bag.

so...was i excited to see her? yes, of course. was i expecting much? not really.

so what did i get?

a super solid band that took those overproduced songs and made them organic - and gave them a truly human energy. choreography that was amazing but not intrusive. the loudest crowd i've ever heard at a concert (thanks to 15,000 teenaged girls). and a singer who worked her ass off on stage, and then to make a even tighter connection with her fans, went into the crowd to sing some more.

she walked around the floor. she hugged her fans. she did a lap around.

and when she got to section 114, she went into the stands, up a bunch of steps, climbed into the seats and continued to sing with her adoring fans holding her up.

i was in section 114. and she was right next to me.

how close? this close:

don't believe me? then watch this.

so...i went in expecting something, i dunno, disappointing at worst and professional at best, and i got thrilled. am i gonna go out and buy her cds? no. but when she comes back, count me in. really great stuff from a really great performer.

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