High school memories

Spice Girls at the TD Banknorth Garden, January 30, 2008
By SHARON STEEL  |  February 5, 2008

080208_spice_main

Slideshow: Spice Girls at the TD Banknorth Garden, January 30, 2008
The women’s restrooms at the TD Banknorth Garden last Wednesday night sounded like a high-school bathroom during a school dance.

“Your outfit is amaaaaazing,” one girl screeched. “How old are you?”

“Twenty. Everyone here is 20,” someone replied. “Who else cares about the Spice Girls?”

“I told you!” the first one said. “I told you everyone here would be 20!”

It’s true: tweenagers in 1998 didn’t have Hannah Montana or High School Musical. We did, however, have five British ladies who sold us on Girl Power, a mass-marketed message that the Spice Girls have briefly and skillfully resurrected from the downward spiral of their girl-group careers. At the opening US reunion tour show, the quintet rolled out the prime lumps of Top 40 sugar piecemeal with “Spice Up Your Life,” “Say You’ll Be There,” “Let Love Lead the Way,” “Holler,” and “Wannabe.” Over the course of nearly two hours, they bopped more than they danced, squeezed into various jaw-dropping Roberto Cavalli threads designed as a nod to the personality of their old Spicey pseudonyms, and giggled together on stage between numbers in semi-unscripted gossip fests. “I just love Boston! There are some great shops here,” a wooden Victoria Beckham gushed. (I think I saw her actually smile at one point — it looked as if something were cutting her face.) “Oh, yeah, I found a great sex shop in Boston,” Melanie Brown cackled.

It was the kind of spectacle that needed to be saturated in color for the visuals to match the lowbrow pleasures of the audio: bejeweled skin-tight leggings, ridiculous Spice Boy dancer costumes, and gigantic sparkles that shot out of an unseen cannon. Melanie Chisholm sang her Sporty club-kid heart out during “I Turn to You,” Geri “Ginger” Halliwell turned on the camp for “It’s Raining Men,” Scary Brown pulled a man out of the audience and punished him with a glitter-encrusted whip, and Beckham, of course, did what she always does best: a forced-fierce runway strut to Madonna, the Spice Boys trailing her like faux paparazzi. They said goodbye after their microphones were turned off, almost a minute too early. But the sparkles were still falling, and nobody else seemed to care.

Related: Artificial flavor of the month, Girl Group Redux, Dance, Monkey: Jessie Baade, More more >
  Topics: Live Reviews , Spice Girls, Hannah Montana, Victoria Beckham,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY SHARON STEEL
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   YO, JONNY! THE LOVE SONG OF JONNY VALENTINE  |  February 05, 2013
    Sometime after becoming a YouTube megastar and crashing into the cult of personality that has metastasized in contemporary society, Teddy Wayne's 11-year-old bubblegum idol Jonny Valentine is hanging out in his dressing room getting a blow job from a girl who doesn't even like his music.
  •   LENA DUNHAM AND HBO GET IT RIGHT  |  April 13, 2012
    When a new television show chronicling the lives of young women arrives, it tends to come packaged with the promise that it will expertly define them, both as a generation and a gender.
  •   EUGENIDES'S UPDATED AUSTEN  |  October 12, 2011
    For his long-awaited third novel, Jeffrey Eugenides goes back to look at love in the '80s — and apparently decides that it's a lot like love in the early 19th century.
  •   REVIEW: RINGER  |  September 08, 2011
    Sixty seconds into the CW's new psychological thriller Ringer, star Sarah Michelle Gellar is seen running from a masked attacker in the darkness.
  •   LOVE'S LEXICOGRAPHER  |  February 10, 2011
    As the editorial director at Scholastic, David Levithan is surrounded by emotional stories about adolescents. Being overexposed to such hyperbolic feelings about feelings could easily turn a writer off pursuing such ventures himself — despite the secrets he may have picked up along the way.  

 See all articles by: SHARON STEEL