Gwen Stefani was about to take the stage on Wednesday night to kick off her Las Vegas residency show when a message came across her phone. The text was from her 12-year-old son, Kingston, and the message read, “Break a leg, Mom. I love you.”
Almost 24 hours removed from both the text and the first of 25 “Gwen Stefani — Just a Girl” shows, the singer still got emotional about it.
“I was like, ‘You think about me?’ It makes me cry right now, so I’m excited for [him] to see it — I think [he’s] going to love it,” she told PEOPLE on Thursday.
On opening night, Stefani’s 4-year-old son Apollo was the only one of her children to see the show live — he sat with Stefani’s boyfriend Blake Shelton. Kingston and son Zuma, 9, had summer school but planned to catch the show soon.
“My kids usually don’t care about anything I do,” Stefani admitted, which is what made the impromptu text that much more memorable. Her middle son shows the most interest out of the three, occasionally helping mom out on her last tour. “Zuma always works the backstage with me,” Stefani, 48, told PEOPLE. “I don’t know how to incorporate him because it is a serious backstage — you see dancing girls and people getting naked. But I’ll have to get a job for him.”
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(She figured it out — Zuma helped Stefani on and off stage between sets Saturday night, and even joined the band and crew for a final bow.)
Of course, the memory of the opening night will not fade from Stefani’s mind anytime soon, either.
“I feel like bawling right now in a relief kind of way,” she said, telling PEOPLE that it was touch-and-go up until the last few days. Heck, opening night was the first time she sang her whole set in a row. She implied that in the lead-up to opening night, there were issues with musical arrangements and dancers that put her weeks behind schedule.
“It’s a miracle,” she joked. “When I was getting nervous was two or three days before when things were — if I could use the word I want to use it would be a very bad word, the ‘f’ word with ‘ed’ on the end.”
Asked if the show feels like her “baby,” Stefani said, “It feels like a chapter. I’ve done this long enough to know that when it’s happening, this is it. Even when we were in the hell over the last few days, everything leading up to now, you look at it and reflect on it with joy and gratitude and you realize how that was magic even though it was hell. You can’t really see that while it’s happening because you’re in it. It just feels so good to get to this point.”
“Gwen Stefani — Just a Girl” will run through mid-March 2019 at the Zappos Theater.