My thoughts beyond the “read more” link, out of respect for those who have not yet been to the concert.
As we brushed out the confetti from our hair and shook out our dance-torn feet, there was nothing to do but turn to each other and smile. In fact, there was nothing to be said, besides “Oh, my God.” The Return of the Spice Girls Tour is an experience not to be missed. The concert is truly larger than life. From opening to finish, the atmosphere was absolutely electrifying. The entire concert may as well have happened within five minutes. As it was, the concert was over two hours long.
There were countless moments of brilliance of course. By far, the most squee-inducing, anxiety building sequence was the concert’s opening. After a slow-motion fairytale sequence of five little girls dressed as the Spice Girls opening a box of fairies (it gets gayer later on), a quick montage of headlines blared on the screens proclaiming that the Spice Girls were “calling it quits” from back in the ’90’s. Before you could finish a sentence, the place suddenly went dark. Suddenly, the outline of the five appeared center stage, with frenzied taglines weaving onto the top screen, declaring with each additional silhouette: “The power of one…is not that fun,” “The power of two…is nothing new,” “The power of three…not meant to be,” “The power of four…needs one girl more,” and finally, with the last girl in place “The power of five…keeps love alive tonight!” A moment of darkness. All at once, the sound and lights exploded as the girls launched up from platforms at least ten feet above the stage, launching definitely into the “la,la,la” bit of “Spice Up Your Life”…it was the perfect moment. I found a YouTube video uploaded from the opposite side of the stadium, about two sections further from where I was. It’s not the best quality, but it’s the full version of the opening from the concert.
There were countless essential moments. From the seductive strip-tease behind the heart-shaped doors of the five room changing booths, to walking the dancers with diamond leashes during “Holler,” it was a show marketed toward the fan base of 1997, with a mature, playfully risque overtone. The girls put on a great show vocally as well. They were honestly singing live, and every note sounded wonderful. Not to mention, their on stage banter, like Geri and Emma having an ass-slapping competition in between songs and Mel B chasing Geri down the catwalk. I couldn’t begin to describe how endearing and engaging the girls actually were.
Another moment of brilliance was during the “Holler” and “Let Love Lead The Way” sequence of the show, when Geri was quietly brought down from her platform. Indeed, the original four continued on the show for that moment, proving that their success extended for a short time beyond Geri’s departure. It was a rather significant and deserved nod to the other four for their final achievements.
But don’t worry, Geri was back before the echoes of “Let Love Lead The Way” faded. The solo portions of the show gained buckets of love from the crowd. Now you would think that the most homosexual moment of the tour had to be Victoria Beckham’s moment, sashaying down the runway with phone in hand and sunglasses atop head, lip-synching to Rupaul’s “Covergirl.” But no. That moment was reserved for the G-A-Y queen herself, Geri Halliwell, delivering a stunningly rousing “It’s Raining Men” with the help of five very fit, very shirtless men. Then of course, there was Mel B gyrating around a gay from the crowd while cracking a whip around him, and Melanie C turning the arena into a briefly frantic laser-light rave for a moment or two (I loved her Elvis-hip tosses during the verse breaks). Oh, and then of course came Emma, puzzling everyone in the crowd by crooning her ’60’s-tinged smash “Maybe” around a kitschy, black-and-white cube filled stage. Well, puzzling everyone except for me. I noticed about half way through the routine that I was in fact the only one in the crowd lipping and clapping through the song…everyone else looked a tad bewildered. That’s when I concluded that the Spice solo careers weresorely overlooked by most. It’s a good thing I keep dibs on them as tightly as I did ten years ago.
Beyond the group’s slight miscalculation in post-Spice fandom, the crowd was absolutely brilliant. No one ever sat down. There was hardly a moment to catch a breath, save for the ballads. But even then, the crowd was too engaged in swaying and singing out the top of their lungs to stop what they were doing. And even when the sound was blown out by the sheer noise levels coupled with the exploding cannons of confetti, it was obvious that nothing would ruin that final moment. Viva forever, my ladies.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget this night.