If you've witnessed either of the big two televised "don't call it a comeback" performances by No Doubt (on American Idol and the Today Show), we wouldn't fault you for being slightly underwhelmed. After all, the band's been on hiatus for nearly five years now and, well, they don't have any new material to perform. Still, that's not stopping them from going out on the road this summer, where they're planning on performing 60+ shows to mostly sold-out crowds. While we have nothing against nostalgia (in fact, we're nostalgic for conversations we had yesterday), it's been pretty evident from watching Gwen Stefani's body language in these performances that her head and heart aren't quite in it yet.
That's not to place blame on Stefani, necessarily, for these ho-hum outings; all four band members seemed equally disinterested to us. It's more about the fact that in the five years since the band's wildly successful Rock Steady tour, Gwen seems to have moved on with her life. She's released two incredibly successful solo records, started a fashion line, cameoed in The Aviator, and had two children. Which raises the question: Why go back? It's not like anyone is demanding that she write any more songs about her relationship with bassist Tony Kamal.
In a Los Angeles Times article, the band admits that they spent the last few months involved in what the writer describes as "fruitless writing sessions." This certainly seems to indicate that inspirado is lacking all around for the band. But while the band is promising that this tour will help them get their creative juices flowing once again (and we hope they do, we really do!), we can't help but think that the driving force behind Gwen going back on the road with the band — in a separate bus, no less — is guilt.
What say you, Vulture Watchers? Are you excited that No Doubt is "back"? Would you rather just see Gwen continue to do her own thing? Or is she being a real trouper by going on tour in an effort to help pad her band members' bank accounts? You know where to leave your thoughts!
For Gwen Stefani, never a doubt [Pop & Hiss/LAT]