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Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre Final Shows
|Concert by Gwen Stefani|
|A black, red, and white poster displaying the singer performing among information revealing specific dates and ticket availability.|
Promotional banner for the concert
|Location||Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre|
Irvine, California, U.S.
|Associated album||This Is What the Truth Feels Like|
|Start date||October 29, 2016|
|End date||October 30, 2016|
|No. of shows||2|
|Gwen Stefani concert chronology|
Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre Final Shows is a promotional concert tour by American singer and songwriter Gwen Stefani. The shows were announced in September 2016 following news that the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre would close in the fall. Stefani's October 30th show was the final performance at the locale, as the site would be razed to make way for a housing project. American bands Young the Giant and Save Ferris opened the show for both nights, while rapper Eve joined Stefani on stage to perform their two collaborations ("Let Me Blow Ya Mind" and "Rich Girl") together. Stefani's boyfriend Blake Shelton also made a surprise appearance to perform "Go Ahead and Break My Heart" during the first show. Both nights were sold out and an estimated 16,000 fans attended.
In support of her third studio album, This Is What the Truth Feels Like (2016), the two shows followed the set list that Stefani performed during her This Is What the Truth Feels Like Tour, which ended two weeks prior. Critically, Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre Final Shows received positive feedback from tour critics. The show's elaborateness was highlighted and Stefani was considered the correct entertainer to close-out the venue. A writer for The Press-Enterprise deemed the show as the best Southern California concert of 2016.
In March 2016, the Los Angeles Times announced that the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre would close in the fall, during its thirty-fifth year of seasonal performances. Preceding the news of a closure, City of Irvine officials discussed continuing an expansion on a local apartment development, which would be built atop the site. Representatives working with Stefani announced on September 9, 2016 that she would be the final act for the theatre before deconstruction of the facilities began. She spoke of its closure: "I have so many memories at Irvine Meadows [...] It has been such an important part of my life both as an artist and as a fan and it will always hold a special place in my heart. I am humbled to perform there once again as it comes to a close."
In an interview with Stefani on a California radio show, she expressed her devastation for the closure of Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, citing it as the locale of her first live performance with her band No Doubt, where they opened for Ziggy Marley in 1990. Young the Giant, a band from Irvine, was contacted by Live Nation Entertainment to serve as Stefani's opening act for the two shows. They were previously scheduled to open for No Doubt in early 2014, but due to Stefani's pregnancy, the planned performance was cancelled. Sameer Gadhia, Young the Giant's lead singer, spoke in an interview with the Orange County Register that opening up for Stefani felt right and was "fitting for them" due to them sharing "Orange County roots".
Aside from Young the Giant which was announced as the show's main opening act, it was announced on October 19th that Save Ferris, another Californian band, would join Stefani as an additional opener for the concerts. With both shows being sold out, it is estimated that Stefani and her two openers performed to a crowd of 16,000 fans during the two night stint.
Prior to her performance on October 30, 2016, Stefani opened the show by saying: "Can you imagine? Tonight is one of the most special nights for all of us. We, together, will be closing down Irvine Meadows. This is it, right here … I’m so honored to be from Orange County, and I’m so honored to be with you here tonight to celebrate music. Let’s have some fun tonight. Do you want to?" The concerts featured various groups of background dancers and Stefani making several costume changes in between sets. She opened the show with a performance of "Red Flag", an album track from This Is What the Truth Feels Like (2016). Further during the concert, rapper Eve joined Stefani on stage to perform their collaborations "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" (2001) and "Rich Girl" (2004).
During the October 29th show, Stefani's boyfriend Blake Shelton made a surprise appearance to perform their duet "Go Ahead and Break My Heart" (2016). In addition to performing songs in support of This Is What the Truth Feels Like, she also sang various No Doubt songs. Several of the group's singles such as "Don't Speak" (1995), "Hella Good" (2001), and "Underneath It All" (2002) were performed, although the remainder of the original band members were absent from the shows. During the encore, Stefani sang three songs: "Truth" (2016), No Doubt's "Just a Girl" (1995), and "The Sweet Escape" (2006).
Liza Blake from Billboard was highly positive of the show, enjoying the intimacy of the shows in addition to the "elaborate stage setup and accessorized backup dancers". Concluding her review, she wrote: "With a 25-song set list that spanned more than two decades of music, Stefani truly used her Orange County star power to make it a legendary night for fans and for fans of the historic concert venue." In a list compiled by journalist Kelli Skye Fradroski and published by California's The Press-Enterprise, she named Stefani's Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre Final Shows as the best "Southern California concert of 2016".
- "Red Flag"
- "Wind It Up"
- "Baby Don't Lie"
- "Where Would I Be?"
- "Make Me Like You"
- "Underneath It All"
- "Harajuku Girls"
- "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" (with Eve)
- "Rich Girl" (with Eve)
- "Hella Good"
- "What You Waiting For?"
- "It's My Life"
- "Asking 4 It"
- "Don't Speak"
- "Used to Love You"
- "Hollaback Girl"
- "Just a Girl"
- "The Sweet Escape"
|October 29, 2016||Irvine||United States||Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre||16,000 / 16,000|
|October 30, 2016|
- Morrison, Matt (March 24, 2016). "Curtain to close on Irvine Meadows Amphitheater". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- Boessenkool, Antonie (November 8, 2015). "Closing time nears for Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre". Orange County Register. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
- Lewis, Randy (September 9, 2016). "Gwen Stefani to play Irvine Meadows' swan song shows Oct. 29-30". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- Powell, Amy (October 30, 2016). "OC native Gwen Stefani headlines final show of Irvine Meadows". KABC-TV. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
- Fadrowski, Kelli Skye (September 9, 2016). "Gwen Stefani to perform final Irvine Meadows concerts before it closes next month". Orange County Register. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
- Fadroski, Kelli Skye (October 26, 2016). "Young the Giant's Sameer Gadhia shares Irvine Meadows memories before closing it with Gwen Stefani". Orange County Register. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
- Larsen, Peter; Franko, Vanessa (December 22, 2016). "The top 25 Southern California concerts of 2016". The Press-Enterprise. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
- Ludwig, Ashley (October 20, 2016). "Orange County Native's Gwen Stefani is Farewell Act for Irvine Meadows". Lake Forest Patch. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
- Wolff, Amy (November 2, 2016). "Go Live: Gwen Stefani Returns to Orange County". The Vinyl Record. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
- Fadroski, Kelli Skye (November 1, 2016). "Gwen Stefani closes Irvine Meadows, Orange County's first big venue". Orange County Register. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
- Blake, Liza (October 31, 2016). "Just an Orange County Girl: Gwen Stefani Headlines Final Show at Irvine Meadows". Billboard. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
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