PASADENA, Calif. — “I came here for Gwen, just her,” swooned a halter top-clad Lynn Reber, 19, who came to pay homage at last weekend’s Wango Tango concert, where Stefani’s band, No Doubt, performed with a slew of others. “I dress like her when I go out. I have one of those newsboy hats, and plaid pants with a black belt.”
Fans like Sarah Watson, 13, wear teeny bikini tops during the 100-degree, nine-hour show, hidden, of course, under Gwen-style striped tops that they’re careful not to take off until they’re out of their moms’ sight. Down in the coveted field seats of the stadium, where a lucky few press even closer to performers, Watson chattered nonstop about her idol. “I’ve been a Gwen fan since `Tragic Kingdom’ (No Doubt’s third album, which came out in 1995). She’s a great person, a good role model, and she has a hip look. She’s fresh and beautiful. And all her songs are really unique. Look, I got my nails done like Gwen,” she said, holding out her acrylic-tipped, bloodred nails.
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“My screen saver is Gwen and my screen name is gwenfanatic. My friend and I wore matching striped tops, mine is red and hers is blue. All my clothes are like hers, and I wear a tie like hers to school,” Watson added, stopping to catch her breath. “I was even Gwen for Halloween for the past three years.”
But even the older set, like 20-year-old Joia Seriale, can’t help loving the wacky pop princess. “I mean, I’m trying to go for her look, if you can’t tell,” she said, gesturing to her shredded T-shirt and camouflage pants. When Stefani finally took the stage, the girls went wild, while the few guys in the audience stood stock still and stared in wonder. As oceans of fans mimicked Stefani’s arm waving and strutting, she yelled, “You all look amazing!” eliciting thousands of high-pitched shrieks. The girls shouted back, “Omigod, Gwen, you rule!””