They were the biggest band in the world – and on this day twenty years ago the all-conquering Spice Girls brought Girl Power to Sheffield.
The date was September 12, 1998 – and Mel C, Mel B, Emma and Victoria tore through a setlist of some of their biggest and best known songs as their Spiceworld tour rolled into the city’s now demolished Don Valley Stadium.
It was actually the second of two dates by Sporty, Scary, Baby and Posh in the city – the girls had also performed at the stadium the previous night on September 11 too.
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But founding member Geri, aka Ginger, was missing – she’d quit the group in May of the same year before the tour reached Sheffield.
Months earlier, fans had camped out overnight and queued around the block to get their hands on tickets, with massive lines snaking around the ticket office at Sheffield Arena as tickets for the prized shows went on sale.
The tour, the group’s debut concert world tour, was to support their second album Spiceworld.
Since the release of their debut single Wannabe, the girls had gone from well, wannabes to huge global megastars, becoming the biggest band in the world at the end of the 90s.
Their sell-out European and North American tour ran from February to August 1998, after which it returned to the UK in September 1998 for a series of stadium shows.
The final concert at London's Wembley Stadium was filmed and broadcast live on pay-per-view, for later VHS release in 1998 and eventual DVD release in 2008.
The tour saw the group perform to an estimated 2.1 million fans in total, covering Britain, Europe and North America.
In New York City, the group set the record for the quickest ever sell-out, selling 13,000 tickets for Madison Square Garden in less than 12 minutes.
Shockingly, midway through the global tour, Halliwell announced her departure from the Spice Girls.
Through her solicitor she stated: "Sadly I would like to confirm that I have left the Spice Girls. This is because of differences between us. I'm sure the group will continue to be successful and I wish them all the best.”
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However, the two shows weren’t the girls first appearance in the city – they performed Wannabe at Hallam FM’s Party In The Park in August 1996.
And here’s the setlist for the Sheffield shows:
"If U Can't Dance"
"Who Do You Think You Are"
"Where Did Our Love Go?"
"The Lady Is a Vamp"
"Say You'll Be There"
"2 Become 1"
"Walk of Life"
"Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves"
"Spice Up Your Life"
"Never Give Up on the Good Times"
"We Are Family"