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Spice Girls launch world reunion tour in Vancouver

The Spice Girls sang, strutted and even pole-danced through a joyful launch of their world reunion tour here late Sunday, before an audience of more than 15,000 screaming fans.

The performance in the GM Place hockey arena in this western Canadian city was the first major appearance in about eight years for all five original members of the girl band, famously known as Scary, Sporty, Ginger, Posh and Baby.

The Girls hugged each other throughout the concert, seemingly to prove they have patched up the differences that led Geri Halliwell (Ginger) to leave the band in the late 1990s.

Shaking their tresses, and shimmying and cavorting in towering high heels non-stop for a 90-minute spectacle, the svelte performers seemed unfazed by the passing years and the fact they`re no longer "girls" -- with four now mothers of young children.

The reunion tour by Halliwell, Victoria Beckham (Posh), Emma Bunton (Baby), Melanie Brown (Scary) and Melanie Chisholm (Sporty), includes scheduled performances in London, San Jose, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, Cologne, Madrid, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Sydney, Cape Town and Buenos Aires.

Before their breakup the band, founded in 1994, sold about 55 million records worldwide.

For their debut here, the five Girls ascended into GM Place arena on five individual platforms, then launched into the salsa-like "Spice Up Your Life."

Other songs included "Wannabe," "Viva Forever," "Headlines," "Mama," "Say you`ll be There," "Stop, and Holler."

Sound problems rendered most of the words almost unintelligible -- although the band`s loyal fans had no problem singing along.

"I knew all the words by heart," said Tamara Armitage of Vancouver, who said she was impressed by both the concert and the Girls. "They looked better than they did before."

The concert was charged with sexual innuendo. In a brief comedy routine the girls talked about a man, saying, "He looks like he`s got a really, really huge, massive .... personality" -- before breaking into giggles.

All five Girls showed plenty of skin throughout tight, flawless choreography with a 10-member caste of male acrobatic dancers, that included a pole-dancing demonstration, a song in which the Girls sashayed about dressed like gangster`s molls in Tuxedo tops, and a peek-a-boo session in which the five Girls ducked in and out of transparent changing booths shedding and donning clothes.

At one point Scary -- dressed in a leopard-print leotard -- chose a middle-aged man from the audience who the male dance troop locked up before Scary, singing into a microphone that looked like a whip, gyrated before him.

Special effects included a machine that spewed silver confetti throughout the air, making the vast arena look like a giant snow globe.

The band`s former audience tended to be young girls before the band broke up -- and teenage and even younger girls turned out en masse in Vancouver, dressed despite an early snow that turned Sunday into rain, in shiny skin-tight dresses with high heels.

A few women wore bouffant pink, purple and blue wigs that matched the blue and pink candy floss hawked by vendors carrying the sweets on trays above their heads.

There also seemed to be plenty of fans from the band`s beginning.

"I grew up with the Spice Girls," said a Briton who now lives in Seattle and who gave her name only as Ann, 34.

"It`s happy music," she said, explaining why she travelled from the United States to catch the concert. "They`re just fun, they don`t take themselves too seriously."

After the concert, thousands of fans thronged outside into the dark rainy night, dancing and singing, "What I really, really want," along the streets of downtown Vancouver.

Source: Spice Girls launch world reunion tour in Vancouver

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