The Spice Girls Set List, As Interpreted by Hamish Bowles

Hamish Spice Girls
Photo: Photo Illustration: Getty Images

So last night we went to Newark to see the Spice Girls. It was, as you might imagine, bonkers. Before the show began, we found ourselves hanging out in the Belvedere Lounge, eating chicken fingers and drinking to prepare. As we looked around at all the girls and gays dressed up as their favorite Spice Girl, we were struck by the notion that, in the entire Prudential Arena, there might not be a single person we knew — mostly because nearly everyone there was in their teens (which means they must have been, like, 5 when the Spice Girls were in their heyday). And none of them were wearing any bottoms. But then, just as we were about to head down to our seats, whom do we see sidling up to order a Belvedere but Vogue European editor-at-large Hamish Bowles! By our rough estimate, he was the only celebrity (okay, near celebrity) in the audience in Newark last night. Why is Hamish Bowles at the Spice Girls concert?, we wondered. Is he friends with Posh? Did he want to check out the Roberto Cavalli costumes? Eh, who cares? We just wanted to see what he does when they play "Wannabe." And we happened to be sitting with a great view of him, in all his suited glory! So, below, we present to you what Hamish Bowles did during the entire Spice Girls concert in Newark.

8:25 p.m.: During the preshow D.J. set, Hamish bobs his head ever so slightly during 50 Cent's "It's Your Birthday."
8:40 p.m.: The Spice Girls rise up through the stage! The crowd goes insane, with every single girl and boy screaming at the exact same pitch (we think it was a high C). They begin "Spice Up Your Life." Hamish stands with his arms folded.
8:43 p.m.: Hamish claps twice.

8:46 p.m.: "Stop Right Now" begins. Crowd insane. Hamish puts his hands on his hips.
8:50 p.m.: Baby Spice asks, "Hey, is this crowd louder that last night's?" Everyone screams in high C. Hamish does not scream.
8:50 p.m.: "Say You'll Be There" comes on. "I'm giving you everything," they belt. "All that joy can bring — this I swear!" Hamish unmoved.
8:52 p.m.: Ginger Spice thanks New Jersey. Hamish does not appear to feel included.
9 p.m.: Dance interlude. Hamish sits. Hamish stands. It's boys dancing.
9:03 p.m.: During "Too Much," the girls strip in dressing rooms, whispering about being naked behind the tiny doors. Hamish not titillated. Except perhaps by Posh's stellar Cavalli flared tuxedo pants. They're major.
9:07 p.m.: "Maybe we should spend Valentine's Day together," Sporty suggests. "Like a big bunch of lesbians!" cracks Scary. Hamish giggles.
9:08 p.m.: "2 Become 1." Hamish rocks gently with folded arms.
9:11 p.m.: Posh has her "fantasy interlude." Turns out she's the only one who does not have a solo. In fact, she hasn't really done anything during this whole show. She's a genius. Hamish bemused.
9:15 p.m.: Scary Spice pulls someone up from the audience, straps him down, and rides on a leather saddle over him. We, Hamish scared.
9:25 p.m.: "Viva Forever." It's matador-themed. Hamish doesn't know this one.
9:30 p.m.: Posh pretends to sing and waves to a fan. Hamish waves in tandem. On the inside only.
9:32 p.m.: Holler. Hamish doesn't know this one either. But he appears impressed by Scary Spice's six-pack. Didn't she just have Eddie Murphy's baby?
9:33 p.m.: Hamish sits. Ginger Spice sings "It's Raining Men." Hamish stands. Begins rocking out, with head only. The men onstage rip off their shirts. Hamish begins stepping side to side.
9:40 p.m.: Sporty sings, "I turn to you." Hamish begins tossing his hair like an excited pony. OMG, he clapped to the beat! Once!
9:45 p.m.: They show baby pictures. You're meant to cheer. Hamish doesn't cheer. They show pictures of their moms. Hamish does not appear to have a mom.
9:50 p.m.: They ask the audience to all hug one another. Hamish does no hugging.
10 p.m.: A disco medley! "Celebrate"! Hamish sways. "Dance and Shout"! Hamish almost dances. "We Are Family"! Hamish gives a big clap.
10:10 p.m.: Baby Spice screams, "We love this town!" Newark? Really?
10:15 p.m.: Concert ends. Hamish claps dutifully for encore. "The Humpty Dance" is played by the D.J. Hamish neither dances nor humps.
10:20 p.m.: OMG, the moment of truth! "Wannabe." Hamish waves his hands!
10:25 p.m.: They re-perform "Spice Up Your Life." They pull out all the stops! Israeli and Palestinian flags! Iraq! Hamish starts by bouncing his head. Then he tosses his hair. Then, as the girls begin Irish step-dancing, he moves on to clapping with the beat. Confetti! Hamish is fully dancing! The screens announce, "Mission Accomplished: Spice!" HAMISH IS OVERHEAD CLAPPING! They've done it! He's jumping up and down!

Mission accomplished indeed.