GWEN STEFANI AND M.I.A.
ARROWHEAD POND, ANAHEIM
SATURDAY, NOV. 26
Now that it's over, you can stop lying to your hipster pals: sure, M.I.A. is all sorts of fabulous and sexy and refugee-y and brilliant, but even Honda knows that; so don't claim you forked over $69 simply to watch M.I.A. galang galang her way into the mainstream, and stop telling people you suffered through parking at the Arrowhead Pond—and then through sitting behind a pack of tween-aged girls and their cell-phone ring tones—so you could "support" M.I.A. as a "true fan" because that's what you'd "want someone to do." No, you showed up at the Pond, $69 ticket clutched tightly in hand, bubblegum bounce in your step, for one reason alone: "Hollaback Girl." What started out as a catchy/annoying summer single has since outgrown even guilty-pleasure status and become what anyone with a detectable pulse can admit: a really fucking great song. So great, in fact, you can forgive Gwen Stefani for trying to be Madonna and failing—Madge would never get winded after just three dance numbers; then again, Madge is a dancer—and you can ignore Gwen's somewhat appalling Asian/other fetish—what white OC gal doesn't have one? Plus, them Harajuku girls got mad groove—and you can focus instead on what Gwen Stefani has always been: pretty awesome, if for no other reason than the fact she's more famous than Christ and from Orange County. You might think she sold out, and you might find her LAMB clothing line a fugly atrocity of unwearable—and unaffordable—couture, but between watching her flawlessly made-up face on the big screens—captured all up-close and tight-like on an MTV VMA performance—and gawking at her incredibly costumed body onstage—looking like a runway model—it was damn hard not to fall in line with the new generation of Gwennabes sitting around you, wasn't it? It was! And now that it's over, it's time to come clean: you are a Gwen Stefani fan. So your friends will always have the time they caught M.I.A.'s debut at Coachella; you'll always have "Hollaback Girl"—complete with a live drum corps—at the Pond. And that's okay. (Ellen Griley)
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