Gwen Stefani opened the Seattle stop of her Harajuku Lovers Tour last night with a smirk. With head cocked, lips red, hair platinum and...
Gwen Stefani opened the Seattle stop of her Harajuku Lovers Tour last night with a smirk.
With head cocked, lips red, hair platinum and surrounded by her posse of four Harajuku Girls, Stefani, 36, rose to the stage sprawled on a throne much like on her latest album cover.
To the opening chords of her first number, “Harajuku Girls,” Stefani stood, gave the near-capacity crowd a knowing grin and took a deep bow. She owned KeyArena, and she knew it.
The beat kicked in, and Stefani — in a ruffled bodice and short shorts, white tights and remarkably high heels — jumped, strutted and pranced before a frenetic Tokyo skyscraper video backdrop. Her Harajuku Girls, looking like punk Catholic school cheerleaders, followed suit.
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She kept the energy — and the crowd — high with fan favorite “What You Waiting For?” Between songs, my friend Christina turned to me and said, “I think Gwen’s pregnant.”
The Gwen Baby Bump Watch continued during song three, when Stefani donned a retro-style red polka dot one-piece swimsuit. You know, I kind of believe it. And if anyone would notice, it’s Christina, who loves Gwen so much she tried to make me dress up as a Harajuku Girl for Halloween so she could be Gwen Stefani. (“Pam, which one do you want to be: Love, Angel, Music or Baby?”)
Onstage, Stefani is everything you want her to be: Saucy, flirty, playful, sexy, street. And, of course, high fashion.
Monday night at KeyArena
For “Crash,” she tied a black bandanna around her curls and rocked a black and white racecar-style suit. For “Rich Girl,” it was a Victorian-inspired ruffled top, sequined military-style jacket, navy short-shorts and leg warmers. For “Cool,” she dazzled in a metallic silver cocktail dress.
Stefani introduced her current single, “Luxurious,” by saying, “This is the last song that [ex-boyfriend and No Doubt band member] Tony [Kanal] and I wrote together.”
Visual highlights of the 80-minute set included a Nutcracker-on-hallucinogens interlude, b-boys break dancing and the Harajuku Girls dressed as nurses. Stefani sang from her solo album, “Love. Angel. Music. Baby.” and debuted two new songs but performed none of the many hits from her “No Doubt” days. Disappointing, but this adoring crowd loved her anyway.
Stefani ended the set with the sassy “Bubble Pop Electric” and encored with “Hollaback Girl” — in which she pulled dozens of delighted pre-teen girls on stage who sang along to lyrics I can only hope they didn’t understand.
Opening act M.I.A. was most notable for its deejay, who spun everything from the Eurythmics to Salt-N-Pepa to Ciara while the duo rapped and at one point appeared to do the running man. Their outfits were atrocious but their rhymes got the crowd on its feet.
Pamela Sitt: 206-464-2376