Gwen Stefani
Gwen Stefani knows you always want to give your hometown crowd a little something extra. And she didn’t disappoint over the weekend in her native Orange County, California, when the other members of No Doubt joined her onstage for the band’s first live performances together in three years.

During her Friday solo show at Irvine’s Verizon Amphitheatre, No Doubt drummer Tony Kanal, guitarist Tom Dumont and drummer Adrian Young slipped onstage and took over for Stefani’s touring band for a wildly received run through the group’s hits “Just a Girl,” “Spiderwebs” and their cover of Talk Talk’s “It’s My Life.” At Stefani’s sold-out show Saturday night, the group pulled its surprise reunion again, performing four songs for an equally rabid crowd. . .

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Amie Apodaca, 21, was at the second show and she said the surprise jam blew her mind. “This weekend had to have been the best in a long time for me!” the Los Angeles native wrote on MTV News’ You R Here blog. “She is the ultimate entertainer! … To make the night even more amazing, at one point she ran up into the audience and landed right by my friends and I. She was right in front of me!

“All of a sudden the boys from No Doubt came out for the encore!! Everyone went crazy!” she continued. “They played four songs … they started off with ‘Just a Girl’ then played ‘Hella Good,’ ‘Sunday Morning’ (my fav) and ‘Spiderwebs.’ I will NEVER forget that night!”

Stefani, who is on the road promoting her second solo album, The Sweet Escape, has plenty of No Doubt material waiting for her once she gets off the road in October. Just a few weeks before the live reunion, Dumont told MTV News that the rest of the band has continued to work on material for the follow-up to 2001’s Rock Steady (see “New No Doubt Songs Ready To Roll — Once Stefani Is”).

“Tony, Adrian and I have been busy preparing material for the album since this time last year,” Dumont said, adding that it’s not likely anything would see the light of day before next fall. “So we have a lot of instrumentals looking for words.”

Gwen Stefani: 2006-present
Stefani’s second solo album The Sweet Escape was released in December 2006. Stefani recollaborated with Kanal, Perry, and the Neptunes along with Akon and Tim Rice-Oxley. The album focuses more heavily on dance music for clubs than its predecessor. Stefani commented that it differed from L.A.M.B. because “I just wasn’t inspired to do another album and…I was a lot more relaxed making it.” Its release coincided with the DVD release of Stefani’s first tour, entitled Harajuku Lovers Live. The album received mixed reviews by critics, who found that it “has a surprisingly moody, lightly autobiographical feel…[but] Stefani isn’t convincing as a dissatisfied diva” and called the album a “hasty return” that repeats Love. Angel. Music. Baby. with less energy.

“Wind It Up”, the album’s lead single, was panned by critics for its use of yodeling and an interpolation of The Sound of Music but was moderately successful, reaching the top twenty in most markets. The title track was well-received and topped the United World Chart. To promote The Sweet Escape, Stefani was a mentor on the sixth season of American Idol and performed the song with Akon. Stefani embarked on the international Sweet Escape Tour in April 2007, with opening acts Akon and Lady Sovereign. The tour will visit North America, Central America, Australia, Asia and Europe. “4 in the Morning” is the album’s third and current single.

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Last Updated on March 17, 2009