The Spice Girls recently wrapped up a short UK reunion tour with three dates at Wembley Stadium and I was at the middle one. It turns out that Mr C saw them live way back when and when he got his hands on tickets for the Spice World 2019 Tour, he somehow convinced me to go with him.
Now I’ve previously not been a concert-going person. I’ve been to one small gig that barely counts, and I’ve abandoned a comedian halfway through their arena set because I was not enjoying the concept at all. So a hugely popular reunion tour full of excitable fans, at Wembley stadium no less, seemed like the perfect event to change things.
Actually, it turns out it was. I was a huge Spice Girls fan back in the day when there were five of them and girl power was their only message. So I knew most of the songs and could appreciate what they were talking about when they got emotional about their rollercoaster journey. I never thought I’d be watching the Spice Girls at Wembley, and it’s clear they were equally surprised to be in the position of putting on the show.
I don’t have much to compare it to, but I really enjoyed what I saw. It was a pretty good setlist, a well put together show. I thought some of the breaks they took to change clothes were a little long and some of their conversations were lost in the vastness of Wembley, but their personalities shone through and the set pieces were engaging. The amazing songs lost nothing in the passage of time, although I wonder if they really had the back catalogue to put together a strong show. Some parts felt weaker than others, but even with that the inclusive message was front and centre.
If it lacked anything, it was a bit of polish. We saw show 12 of a 13 date run, which doesn’t feel like very many to hone your craft. But the enthusiasm from the band and from the crowd made up for all of it. We had great seats and the number of Union Jack dresses we spotted on the way in and throughout the concert was enough to prove that everyone was determined to have a good time.
I was surprised at the logistics getting in and out of Wembley. The concept of thousands of fans descending on the same space was overwhelming beforehand, but didn’t feel so bad once you were there. Apart from the inevitable ridiculous queues for the ladies loos, I was quite impressed with how it all came together. It certainly made me consider going to Wembley for more events, including purchasing tickets to see the Lionesses there later in the year (girl power!).
If you had to pick a concert to break you in gently, this might not be the one you’d select. But for a full on assault on the senses, a wonder at the sheer size of stadium events, and a fun show from start to finish, you’d be hard pushed to find anything better.