July 6, 1998
Seventeen thousand people spiced up their lives at the Montage Mountain Center for the Performing Arts on a summer night in July. The crowd received a heavy dose of girl power from English pop girl group, Spice Girls.
The four Spice Girls — Baby (Emma Bunton), Sporty (Melanie Chisholm), Scary (Melanie Brown) and Posh (Victoria Adams) — got the show started with “If U Can’t Dance” and “Who Do Think You Are?” The foursome then were joined on stage by the Spice Boys for the song “Do It,” which was followed by “Denying” and “Stop.”
Spice Girls ended the show with “Spice Up Your Life,” “Wannabe” and “Mama.”
Missing from the group was Ginger Spice, Gerri Halliwell. In May of that year, Halliwell announced that she had left the group. Through her attorney, Halliwell said she departed from the group because of differences between members. The remaining Spice Girls said they were saddened by her decision but that they supported her.
Tickets for the show cost $25 for lawn seats and $42.50 for reserved. When tickets went on sale for the show on April 25, people were parked along Montage Mountain Road in hopes of being the first to grab tickets at the amphitheater box office at 10 a.m. By 10:30 a.m., all 5,200 reserved seats were sold.
The Spice Girls appearance also spiced up the local economy. Gary Mesky, of Crystal Candy and Nut Co. on Pittston Avenue, reported that over the months prior to the show, he sold 57,600 Spice Girls Fantasy Lollipops by Chupa Chups. An official with Marvelous Mugs Restaurant on Montage Mountain Road noted they experienced an increase in business when they announced a raffle for two tickets to the concert. Hotels
in the area also saw an increase in bookings that weekend thanks to the concert.
Recently, Bunton posted an image of the group on her Instagram account, and social media was aflutter with speculation. On Feb. 7, TMZ.com reported the Spice Girls were in the planning stages of a tour throughout the United Kingdom and United States, scheduled to take place in late summer. On Feb. 10, Posh Spice, or Victoria (Adams) Beckham, shut down the rumor.
“I’m not going tour. The girls aren’t going on tour,” she said in an interview with British Vogue.
Brian Fulton has been the librarian at The Times-Tribune for the past 15 years. On his blog, Historically Hip, he writes about the great concerts, plays/musicals and celebrity happenings that have taken place throughout NEPA. He is also the co-host of the local history podcast, Historically Hip. He competed and was crowned grand champion on an episode of NPR quiz show “Ask Me Another.” Contact: email@example.com; 570-348-9140; or @TTPagesPast