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Website Articles 2009



From NJ.com

No Doubt at The Bamboozle

The reunited No Doubt electrified The Bamboozle festival tonight, bringing this massive, sprawling, waterlogged festival to a close. A night after performing a sparkling show at the Event Center of the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City - the band's first since going on hiatus in 2004 - the California quartet offered the shivering crowd in East Rutherford a heart-warming dose of power pop, ska, and soul-inflected gems.

With no new material to play (the band has said that it plans to write a new record while on tour), No Doubt was free to give the thousands who had braved the weather all day exactly what they wanted: a collection of old favorites and radio hits to sing along with.

The band opened with one of its earliest hits, the ska-flavored "Spiderwebs," before moving onto the crunky dance track "Hella Good." Two songs in, No Doubt had already displayed more musical range than many of the bands that preceded them at The Bamboozle. The slow-burning reggae tune "Underneath it All" was next, followed by "Excuse Me Mr.," which the band transformed from a straight-ahead rocker into a Police-style, "Message in a Bottle" arpeggio piece.

In the hours before No Doubt took the stage, a number of bands in the same musical tradition did their best to warm the dampened masses. Southern California scene veterans Face to Face - contemporaries of No Doubt - made their own case for being the best punk band to escape the West Coast in the last 20 years, pummeling the crowd (many of whom weren't born when the band started in 1991) with a fierce and rapid assault of genuine three-chord malice.

They were followed by Chicago punk heroes Rise Against. who played their own rendition of '90s-style punk-core on such favorites as "Re-Education" and "Ready to Fall." Lead singer Trevor Keith challenged the crowd to form the biggest circle pit possible, with the stage left crowd facing off against the stage right crowd. Anyone who witnessed who won is a braver person than I.

In the 7 p.m. slot, one of the best bands of the festival appeared on one of the smallest stages. They may not have been the most powerful or the most experienced, but Care Bears on Fire, comprised of three teenage girls from Brooklyn, wowed the sparse crowd gathered before them with some of the most authentic, classic punk music at The Bamboozle. Eschewing the cookie-cutter pop-punk sound that dominated the festival, Care Bears on Fire played riff-ready, 1-2-3-4 punk rock, and were the closest thing to the Ramones one was likely to find. Before one tune, drummer Izzy said, "This next song is about something everyone can relate to, because we all did at one point: gym class." Rock 'n' roll high school, indeed.


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