The Spice Girls’ come-back tour re-opens some questions about the nature of ‘Girl Power’. Jennifer Thomson looks back fondly – but critically
Last week I got to relive a childhood dream. I went to see the Spice Girls in concert. I screamed, I shouted; they danced, they sang. It was a perfectly choreographed evening of pop hits and cheesy crowd interaction (“We always have such a good time when we come to Montreal,” Emma gushes at one point.) The near-jubilant atmosphere was fuelled solely by oestrogen and handbags – the almost solely female audience had left their men at home and were out with the girls, looking for a song and a laugh.
True to the media hype which has been building up steadily for months, the five delivered what we really, really wanted. Sporty, Baby, Posh, Ginger and Scary gave us a roller-coaster ride through the old hits, letting us relive their ’90s heyday and saving the best (‘Wannabe’) for last. Glitzy outfit (all provided by Victoria’s ‘friend’ Roberto Cavalli) followed glitzy outfit, dancers leapt around the stage with boundless energy, and various shiny props rose and fell from different parts of the stage. A third of the show was taken up with solo material, which means we were subjected to a rather bizarre performance by Mel B involving a whip, while Victoria played to her strengths and avoided any sort of singing, in favour of a brief walk down a fake runway.