Back when I used to write for another Valley weekly that shall remain nameless, we used to play a game called "Nickelback Or . . . ?" The object was to determine what concerts, if any, could possibly be worse than a Nickelback show. One of the only rules of the game was that you had to nominate real, existing bands. For example, you couldn't just nominate an imaginary All-Suck supergroup with, say, Scott Stapp on vocals, C.C. DeVille on guitar, Meg White on drums, etc. This rule also disqualified No Doubt, who, at the time, was on hiatus to accommodate lead singer Gwen Stefani's foray into dance pop. Now that the kings (and queen) of watered-down bubblegum ska have returned, I decided to put them to the "Nickelback Or . . . ?" test. The scoring algorithm is much too complicated to explain in detail here, but suffice it to say, after careful consideration of all relevant factors, No Doubt emerged as a slightly less repugnant concert choice than Nickelback, with one important caveat: Stefani's solo work was left out of the equation. If No Doubt decides to surprise the crowd with an impromptu rendition of "Hollaback Girl," all bets are off.
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