Saturday, February 16, 2008

...and a lack of real spice in your life...

July 4, 1998 – I sat in the 10th row for the Spice Girls concert at Darien Like in Buffalo, NY. I drove nearly four hours to get there and most of that was through severe weather. As a matter of fact we were concerned that the concert might be canceled because the weather was so bad. Fortunately the weather gods eventually sided with us and the concert happened. I was there with my friend Patrick and we were surrounded by thousands of screaming 10 year olds – and their parents. And yes…Geri Halliwell (aka Ginger Spice) bailed on that tour – dropping out of the Spice Girls just before they came to America.

February 15, 2008 – Amy, my sister and I went to see the Spice Girls on the backside of their 2nd world tour at the United Center in Chicago. With Victoria leaving Spice (and the majority have kids) this will be the last time all 5 girls perform together. My ticket was nearly double the price this time. Normally that would concern me because to live up to a $130 ticket ($75 last time) – it better be a good show.

So – how was the show? Spice-tastic! Spice-errific! Spice-gasmic. The show was absolutely incredible. I should go ahead and preface with all of you that are not fans of Spice – they are amazing entertainers. That is VERY different than musicians, at least in my book. A nice and simple introduction to the Spice Girls would be to watch “Spice World” – the movie that they released in 1997. It certainly incorporates their music, but much like Beatles movie, you get an interesting glimpse into their individual personality and humor.

Translate that to a live show. It is not a concert, it is a performance. The scenery was amazing. The set was a simple runway with a playing area on each end, loads of traps and some levels towards the back (which included the band). The set was actually quite reminiscent of the productions of Chicago we did at FC last year. I thinking about suing…anyway, the design also included these gigantic monitors that moved and danced almost as fluidly as the girls. They went up, down, split, forward, backward and they had AMAZING resolution. Very impressive. If you’ve been on the internet – you’ve probably heard about the costumes that were used for the show. Spice Girls partnered with designer Roberto Cavalli and marketed through Victoria’s Secret. Well – they were fun and exciting.

The show was scheduled to start at 8. In my head I figured they would be on about an hour and that we would be strolling out of the United Center by 9:30. Well, they actually started by 8:30 (shocked me) and played until almost 10:15. Wow! And they were high energy the entire time. There were some breaks for costume changes, etc., but we were entertained my amazing backup dancers.

They opened with Spice Up Your Life and closed with a Wannabe/SUYL medley that were both sung over the Humpty Dance bass line…sadly I don’t think a lot of the audience really knew the Humpty Dance, and that was surprising.

The two awkward moments in the show involved the Mels. At one point Scary (Mel B) strapped a male audience member to her “machine” and simulated sexual acts with him. Shortly after that, Mel C was severely groped (almost inappropriately) by one of the backup dancers. I guess they were making the point that they have grown up. The sweetest moment was when Scary, Baby and Posh’s kids all came out during Momma I Love You. It was oddly touching – and something that I presume hasn’t happened in every show. But maybe they have…I will just pretend that we were special-er.

I am waffling about talking about the rest of the audience. I don’t want to come off as rude, or insensitive. I guess I will just say that being surrounded by this group was an experience. It was very different than the show 10 years ago. In all aspects it was different. Better. So – maybe I’ve said too much. If you want to know more, you know where to find me.

People of the world…
(now you say – “Spice Up Your Life”).

Thursday, February 14, 2008