Not many artists can claim to have been as era-defining as these girls were in their prime. Much more than a musical group, Spice Girls were a global movement, lead by five outspoken ambassadors with distinct personal brands.
20 years on, the 90s nostalgia hits hard. With a crowd full of women of all ages, and a fair few men in wigs and pink, everyone seems as bubbly as the champagne necked on the journey over. Bright, bizarre outfits have rushed back into fashion as fans flutter past covered in glitter, full of devilish giggles. It quickly became more like a carnival than a concert.
Emerging to fireworks and launching into ‘Spice Up Your Life’, each spice member (apart from Victoria Beckham /Posh Spice) sashays onstage, encircled by their own dance crew. Emma Bunton (Baby Spice) still all cheeky and youthful in bright sparkling pink, Mel B (Scary Spice) turning heads in a tight leopard print suit, Geri (Ginger Spice) as elegant as a swan in a royal gown and matching tiara, and Mel C (Sporty Spice) looking like she’d just won the Olympics in an electric blue two-piece.
Delivering the expected songs, they all individually have a time to shine. Sequins shine brightly with beautiful light shows that flicker through colour-changing wristbands worn by all members of the crowd. It was truly a stadium spectacle.
Put alongside some old hits it was a night of iconic girl power. The Spice Girls’ back catalogue isn’t stupidly vast, so big tunes like ‘Say You’ll Be There’ and ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ rightfully appear.
For much of the audience, including myself, we had grown up to throwback bops such as these and there’s no denying that the heart swelled on hearing a 90,000 capacity venue chanting along to every track.
Other highlights include the groovy, wholesome ‘We Are Family’, pop classic ‘Stop’, and loveable ‘2 Become 1’ as everyone unites to sing and sway. Although, vocals were often weak with the frequent costume changes masked by lengthy dance interludes.
Disregarding complaints about the sound from previous shows, the audience seems oblivious whilst bouncing with energy. Even for slower songs like the touching ‘Goodbye’ dedicated to Geri, the atmosphere was magical.
The strongest moments of course were the interactions between the group. Seeming to possess the same mutual affection and chaotic energy as when they first emerged, they traded many hugs and witty jokes. Mel B was her usually sassy self as her laughs echoed around the stadium.
“This next one is a song-along and if you sing loud enough we might come back for more,” Emma winks as the crowd begin to scream with joy to ‘2 Become 1’.
Shortly after a video montage of the band thanking fans is aired during the encore, it received one of the biggest cheers of the night. Ending on favourite ‘Wannabe’, this only escalated with more confetti and fireworks as the girls happily strut up and down the stage waving and blowing kisses to their beloved fans.
Consider my life well and truly spiced up.
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Words: Lauren McDermott
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