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Spice Girls tribute band takes over the Great Hall

Posted by Guest Contributor / February 4, 2013

Spice Girls tribute bandOn Saturday a Toronto Spice Girls tribute band, appropriately called Wannabe took over The Great Hall in celebration of their 1-year anniversary of being together, and a celebration of all things girl-power. After a sold out gig at The El Mocambo a year ago, the look-and-sound-alike quintet had a whole new stage show to debut, backed by their pro live band, complete with costume changes, confetti, and buff shirtless men named The Spice Boys.

As the venue started filling up, 90s pop classics blared from the Union Jack-clad speakers, and the vibe was ripe with nostalgia and 90's outfits. The crowd was made up of mostly 20-something women (former tween Spice Girls fans), and a small percentage of gay and straight men. I suspect the straight men may have caught on to the night being a good place to pick up, and one particularly rowdy group conga lined and danced their way into many throngs of girls. As every Spice Girls fan knows: If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends.

Spice Girls Tribute bandA note to those who may be scratching their heads at the very existence of this concert: If you didn't grow up a Spice Girls fan, you may just not get it. But for those of us who grew up in a teenage Spice World, we no doubt had our favourite Spice Girl and always dressed like them on Halloween growing up, making this kinda too good to be true. Especially if you missed seeing them live back in their heyday or for their reunion tour last year, this felt like the next best - and the only - thing. The only real live Spice you're gonna get these days in Toronto.

Spice Girls Tribute bandExcitement mounted as the clock stretched well past their announced start time. And then, finally...Wannabe took to the stage, amid screams and squeals louder than the group's own harmonies at times. 98% of the time they had the whole thing down flawlessly. Scary and Sporty stood out a little bit above the rest as complete dead ringers. If you were a bit further back in the crowd, head and hips swinging back and forth, singing along with them, you could've easily mistaken them for the real deal.

Spice Girls Tribute bandWannabe did an excellent job at building up momentum throughout the show. The first set featured tracks like "Saturday Night", "2 Become 1" and "Mama". Then, another 90s pop hit dance party c/o of DJ Kung Fu Kid while the girls exited the stage and changed clothes. They returned in classic ensembles most fans would recognize as archetypal Spice Girls outfits complete with rhinestoned Union Jack bustier on Ginger, white knee high platforms on Baby and black pleather catsuit on Posh.

Spice Girls Tribute bandThe second set is when things really got spicy. The hits came out one by one, but Wannabe saved the best for last. What did we want, did we really really want? WANNABE, of course!

But not before the Spice Boys (mentioned above) came out to dance alongside Ginger & the girls for a rendition of "It's Raining Men". Wannabe and Spice Up Your Life closed out the show, and the audience's teenage dream was complete. And Wannabe: Spice Girls Tribute Band seemed to have the time of their lives spicing up our lives. Girl Power!

Spice Girls Tribute bandWords & Photos by Becca Lemire



hmmm / February 4, 2013 at 03:16 pm
when is the next show?
nay / February 4, 2013 at 04:22 pm
This couldn't be more unnecessary if it tried.
Gumbo / February 4, 2013 at 04:42 pm
They need to find a better Baby Spice/Emma Bunton.
Toronto Jim / February 4, 2013 at 05:23 pm
This is the most lame thing I have seen on here.
Barbara Johnston replying to a comment from nay / February 4, 2013 at 06:27 pm
And yet, there is an audience...So it's not all that unnecessary.
De Rose / February 4, 2013 at 07:08 pm
My stomach still hurts from laughing and singing so loud. It was a really endearing feeling at this time in our dreary winter city to walk into the Great Hall and to find a completely unpretentious crowd of 20 somethings ready to shake their asses and laugh and sing out! All of the girls performing were perfectly cast, including Baby. Anyone who didn't have fun that night was either a) tone deaf, b) sober, c)a dead beat. The 13 year old girl inside of this big gay dude is still squealing.
Jenny L / February 4, 2013 at 07:37 pm
People posting negative comments about something fun, entertaining and well done is what I call lame, Toronto Jim. Maybe you should lighten up a little and stop trying to be cool online where it's safe. Did you get a chance to actually see the show?? If you had, you would've seen an incredibly talented group of people performing to a huge crowd of people having a blast with friends. When was the last time you did that nay??? I was never a die-hard Spice Girls fan growing up, but I can honestly say I haven't had that much fun out in Toronto in a long time. Stop being internet trolls, get out of your comfort dens and try something you never thought you'd do before, you might be pleasantly surprised at what will happen and the people you'll meet. Hope to see you at the next Spice Girls Show!
Nicole / February 4, 2013 at 08:04 pm
By far the best show that these beautiful ladies have put on. So much love and positivity in the room. Such a fantastic evening.
Geanie / February 4, 2013 at 08:22 pm
I know this clown that makes balloons into animal shapes. You guys should do an article on him. He's got a huge following.
MichaelOH / February 4, 2013 at 08:38 pm
I am not a Spice Girls fan, nor do I think that their music has given us anything to write home about in the musical canon that we're going to leave to future generations.

That being said...

...I was there on Saturday night.

Point #1 - Five extremely talented ladies on stage.

Point #2 - a more than capable live band

Point #3 - a full house singing along to songs that, for the most part a) have a good chorus
b) serve absolutely no purpose, other than to make people feel incredibly good, and happy.

WANNABE is a great respite from an otherwise bleak and cynical Toronto music scene. Bravo, Ladies!!
brian / February 4, 2013 at 09:46 pm
i wanna do the black one, nice tits
Daniel Dall'Agnol / February 4, 2013 at 10:27 pm
SO FUN! I wish I could see it live. Love from Brazil!
evan replying to a comment from brian / February 4, 2013 at 11:56 pm
didn't you ever learn about things that you think but you don't say?
brian replying to a comment from evan / February 5, 2013 at 09:32 am
i'm sure you didn't learn not to put dicks in your mouth cuz your obviously a homo
Amber / February 5, 2013 at 09:53 am
I was there on Saturday too...the place was packed! I mean, many "established" bands/groups don't draw crowds like that.

The band was rocking, the girls were amazing, the costumes were perfect and everyone present had a great nostalgia filled night.

I can't wait until the next show...
Ibrahim Mahboob / February 5, 2013 at 04:29 pm
Of greater concern than whether the show was necessary or liked is the fact BlogTO directs readers to the comment section but fails to moderate the racism, misogyny or homophobia on display here. Kind of pointless for a site about Toronto as a community.
ManTan / February 5, 2013 at 04:31 pm
So these aren't drag queens? I'll pass.
Toronto Jim replying to a comment from Jenny L / February 5, 2013 at 06:49 pm
If I was going to see a clone band it would not be the Spice Girls. Where is the review on the latest ABBA tribute?
Went to see Comfortably Numb last weekend. Now that is something to review.
Sarah / February 6, 2013 at 12:09 pm
These ladies are fantastic. I got to see them at Pride this year. I didn't even hear about this show taking place, and it's too bad, because I would love to see them live again. They have a great energy and brings back a lot of memories for those of us who were the Spice Girls target demographic when they were big. My 10th birthday party was Spice Girls themed. My friends and I fought over who was most like each girl, and we played the Spice World VHS so many times that we wore it out. Oh nostalgia.
Ruckus / February 6, 2013 at 01:40 pm
Who do I contact for bookings?
Barbara replying to a comment from Ruckus / February 6, 2013 at 03:19 pm
Private message us on FB at 'Wannabe: The Spice Girls Tribute Band' and we'll get back to you.
WANNABE / February 6, 2013 at 03:29 pm
We are so grateful for all BLOGTO for this coverage, and to all the people who keep coming out to support us. Wannabe shows are put together by a team musicians/singers/performers who produce many other projects in the artistic Toronto community, and who saw an opportunity in emulating the Spice Girls persona and music because many people wanted it. Whether you like the Spice Girls or not, Wannabe shows are always a night of genuine fun, energy, acceptance and positivity. Love to everyone, especially Toronto Jim! (See you next time, Cowboy;)
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