Fans hail return of Spice Girls

The Spice Girls have kicked off their reunion world tour with a show-stopping performance in Vancouver.

The Spice Girls have kicked off their reunion world tour with a show-stopping performance in Vancouver.

More than 15,000 fans flocked to General Motors Place for the Return of the Spice Girls Tour.

The Canadian gig saw Victoria, Emma, Mel B, Mel C and Geri take to the stage together for the first time in nine years.

Their last tour date as a five-piece was in Birmingham, England shortly before Geri Halliwell left the group in May, 1998.

The two-hour long reunion show saw the girls performing 22 tracks, including their nine UK number one singles, new single 'Headlines' and some solo material.

A spokesman for the band denied suggestions that they were not singing live or that they used backing tracks.

He said: “All of the girls sang live. There is a click track for the band to keep them in time, which is standard, but all of the girls’ vocals were live.”

There were eight different costume changes during the show, which goes to San Jose in California next week.

They announced their comeback before the world’s media at the 02 Arena in London, formerly the Millennium Dome, in June.

In the coming months, the five will perform in cities across the world, from London to Cape Town, as well as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, Shanghai, Madrid and Beijing.

In their heyday, the Spice Girls sold 55 million albums and had nine UK number one singles.

The group were joined on-stage by a team of male dancers who entertained with breakdancing, ballroom moves and acrobatics.

The Spice Girls’ co-ordinating outfits were created by designer Roberto Cavalli especially for the tour.

The girls opened with 'Spice Up Your Life' and danced on raised platforms before walking just inches from the screaming fans down the stage catwalk.

The performance was accompanied by sophisticated set changes including revolving platforms, trap doors and video sequences.

In one segment, the girls wore outfits reflecting the Spice nicknames which made them famous more than a decade ago.

Geri sported a rhinestone version of the Union jack dress she famously wore to The Brits, while Mel B was clad head-to-toe in animal print with matching knee high boots.

The group ended the concert with a rendition of 'Wannabe', their debut single, and a reprise of 'Spice Up Your Life'.

Some fans had travelled from as far afield as Italy for the gig.

Marlaine Huery, 19, from Medicine Hat in Alberta, drove for three hours and flew across the Rockies to see her idols, paying around €1,000 for the experience.

She said: “I can’t believe I am here but it was so worth it. I’ve never seen them live before so it’s great for me that they did this tour. It has been a life long dream of mine.

“I was crying for the first half hour of the show, and I paid a fortune for my ticket but if they come on tour again I would spend it again. They were just fantastic.”

Canadian singer Avril Lavigne was in the crowd at the sell-out concert, while Posh’s husband David Beckham flew in following a tour of New Zealand with his team LA Galaxy.

More than one million fans applied for tickets to the UK leg of the tour, which sold out in 38 seconds.

Their first home date will be at London’s O2 Arena on December 15, followed by a further 16 shows in London before the band head for Manchester.

The concerts coincide with the release of the group’s Greatest Hits album.

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