No Doubt and Blur Return at Coachella

No Doubt (Photo by A Osborn/Coachella)

After being left stunned by Raye, we were delighted to see some of the Adicts' set. It was a bit of a surprise to see the Brit-punks on the lineup at all - they're not one of the '70s UK punks bands that you'd necessarily expect to see here, but the Coachella crowd never fails. A healthy number of people piled into Sonoma and kicked off a circle pit for songs like "Joker in the Pack" and "Horror Show" as the droogy clowns pummeled them.

The Adicts (P Ghana/Coachella)

After that, Vampire Weekend was decidedly underwhelming, but they sounded fine as did The Last Dinner Party (who we reviewed recently).

There was a buzz in the air about the return of Long Beach's Sublime. With Jakob Nowell, son of original singer Brad Nowell who tragically died in 1996 at the 28, replacing his dad alongside Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh, this is a very different band to the Sublime with Rome that has existed for the past few years.

There will always be haters -- people who refer to this as a "karaoke" band or use disparaging terms such as "glorified tribute band," but Wilson and Gaugh are the real deal. Jakob, meanwhile, lets no-one down.

We watched a bit of Grimes, but the Sahara stage is such a trek from the main stage, and we wanted to get back for Blur so we left early (this is essentially why we didn't see any Ice Spice between Blur and No Doubt.

Blur (P Ghana/Coachella)

Blur was great, even of the Brit-pop icons weren't at their liveliest. "Girls & Boys" is a '90s classic, and "Song 2" is an absolute beast of a tune. Bringing up the Torres Martinez Cahuilla Bird Singers was a noice touch, and they sounded particularly beautiful on the closing "Tender."

"That's it," said Damon Albarn, and it was.

Jungle offered a lively, funk-fueled set, and then it was time for the ska-punk party that was the No Doubt reunion.

"Can you believe this is happening?" Gwen Stefani asked more than once, as the band set about proving that they've lost none of their energy. Stefano might be a full on pop star nowadays, but when you put her in front of her band again, she reverts right back to ska-punk queen.

They all look and sound perfect, and the set list is spot-on. "Hella Good" kicks things off, and then "Sunday Morning," "Ex Girlfriend" and their awesome cover of Talk Talk's "It's My Life" have zoomed by in a flash.

Any concerns that this young Coachella crowd won't be familiar with these '90s anthems rove unfounded. Again, Coachella crowds never let anyone down.

Olivia Rodrigo makes a guest appearance for "Bathwater," and we get some of their early tunes before the closing salvo of "Just a Girl," "Don't Speak" and "Spiderwebs."

"Don't Speak" is particularly poignant; it's well known that the song is about bassist Tony Kanal ending a seven-year relationship with Stefani, and to see them perform it together again, with so much water uncover the bridge, was actually incredibly sweet. When he gives her a piggy-back off the stage, we can see that they needed this reunion as much if not more than their fans.

The only downer is that No Doubt was so good, were weren't able to run off for two minutes to see rapper Coi Leray, as we had planned. We did see darkwave electronic musician Gesaffelstein on the way out, and he was suitably intense.

But Saturday really belonged to Raye and No Doubt.