Spice Girls put on energetic show for full house
rafe arnott/metro vancovuer
Last night, the Spice Girls launched their world tour with a nostalgia-coated shot of pure energy.
After a quick video montage illustrating the group’s history and pumping up the Girl Power, the group kicked off a set best described as pure spectacle with the punch of hits Spice Of Your Life and Stop.
The sold-out show was the 50 million album-selling quintet’s first major performance in nearly a decade.
After Britney’s recent flailings, the sold-out arena of 18,000 screaming fans—a mix of fans in their late teens and early twenties, are now tuned into much different celebrity scene than existed during the Spice Girls’ sexy-sweet, late-90s apex.
Pre-show rumours of a show cancellation in Argentina and the possibility of an on-stage blowout dogged the group. Bolstered by reports of lackluster solo careers including roles in Bollywood films, eating disorders and court cases, many fans arrived half-expecting an on-stage meltdown.
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But as the group belted out favourites like I’m Giving You Everything from a three-storey stage and performed pole-dances and a chorus line can-can, and even pulled out feather boas, those rumours dissipated.
The energy sagged briefly when Emma began the group’s new tune Headlines (Friendship Never Ends) which fell compared to the songs long-time fans came to hear. But a host of costume, set and dance switch-ups quickly erased that lag. The rest of the two-hour, 22-song set transformed nostalgia into an incredibly well choreographed show, especially when the group changed into their trademark costumes, including Ginger’s famous Union Jack dress and Scary’s whip, the stage filled with 10 gyrating breakdancers.
In short, the Girls’ performance was a refurbished, toned-down version of their original incarnation. It was a pleasantly manufactured composite of late-90s pop culture: all glitz, kitsch, and the determination that comes from five 30-somethings who may have traded their platforms for high heels, but still managed to make a laser- lit stage that much brighter.