Until this morning, I did not know that Gwen Stefani was launching a Las Vegas residency, but it makes sense. She did, after all, just release a Christmas album. Stefani is simply at that stage in her career — still plenty popular, with a deep catalog of hits, but pretty far removed from the mainstream pop of today. As someone who saw No Doubt in 1997, this makes me feel profoundly old. (Unless there’s a Mighty Mighty Bosstones casino arena that I don’t know about, Stefani is the first onetime ska-punk star to have her own Vegas residency.) But the world keeps moving, and Stefani’s Vegas show, which began last night, totally seems like something that I’d want to see if I was going to see a Vegas show.
Last night, Stefani played the first of 25 shows at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino’s Zappos Theater — the same venue that’s been home to residencies from the Backstreet Boys, Jennifer Lopez, and Lionel Richie. The setlist was a greatest-hits affair, covering both Stefani’s solo career and her time with No Doubt. And the show also included a few covers, including Talk Talk’s “It’s My Life” (a song that Stefani had already sung with No Doubt), Blondie’s “The Tide Is High” (perhaps the OG ska-punk hit), and Rihanna’s “Umbrella.”
There’s no video of that “The Tide Is High” cover online yet, but someone did capture Stefani singing “Umbrella.” Perhaps you should consider it a preview of the inevitable moment, 10 or 15 years from now, when Rihanna gets a Vegas show of her own. Watch it below.
Gwen Stefani decided to cover Rihanna’s “umbrella” bc she’s a quen pic.twitter.com/lNh4qntAJk
— steven j. horowitz (@speriod) June 28, 2018
And here’s the setlist from last night’s show: