Orange County-reared pop star Gwen Stefani has been tapped for two swan song performances at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, the 35-year-old concert venue slated to close permanently following the 2016 concert season and to be razed for a new housing development.
Stefani will play Oct. 29 and 30, with supporting act Young the Giant, a band that formed in Irvine, adding to the local hero aspect of the amphitheater’s final shows.
“I have so many memories at Irvine Meadows,” Stefani said in a statement. “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.”
Irvine Meadows opened in 1981 as a 16,000-capacity state-of-the-art concert facility whose arrival signaled the emergence of Orange County as a vibrant market for pop and rock concerts distinct from Los Angeles. For 14 years, it was known as Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre through a naming sponsorship by the telecommunications company. It reverted to the Irvine Meadows name last year.
Stefani performed at Irvine Meadows with her band No Doubt, and the venue has hosted hundreds of other concerts over the last 35 years, with acts including Michael Jackson, Prince, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Coldplay, the Dave Matthews Band, Blink-182, Jimmy Buffett, John Denver, Def Leppard, Kool & the Gang, Crosby Stills and Nash, Oingo Boingo, Poison and X as well as several installments of the annual KROQ Weenie Roast, Lollapalooza and Vans Warped Tour festivals.
It also has served as the longtime summer home of the Orange County-based Pacific Symphony.
The amphitheater, which has been operated in recent years by concert promoter Live Nation, had a long-term lease on the property adjacent the 405 Freeway in Irvine. That lease expires in 2017.
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