– Spice Girls
It’s a big ’90s party this year with a resurgence of pop stars from 20-plus years ago hitting the road with reunions and greatest hits treks – no great surprise considering the cyclical way music often goes through a period of nostalgia a couple of decades after an artist’s heyday. Blasts from the past on concert stages this year include marquee names like the Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys as well as boy bands B2K and Westlife among others.
New Kids On The Block
, although formed in the ‘80s, were one of the highest-grossing touring artists in the early 1990s, and, almost 30 years later, were headliners again in 2019.
The Spice Girls head up the list of ’90s artists in the current nostalgia craze with a gigantic sold-out stadium run through Ireland and the U.K. this summer causing quite a stir at the boxoffice. With four of the original members of the group – Melanie Brown, Melanie Chisholm, Emma Bunton and Geri Halliwell – on board (sans Victoria Beckham), the tour grossed a whopping $78 million from 695,660 sold tickets at 13 performances.
The tour launched on May 24 at Dublin’s Croke Park, the first of eight stadiums booked on the three-week run. The last date was a record-breaking three-night affair staged at London’s Wembley Stadium on June 13-15. With sales topping $27 million from 221,971 sold seats, the tour finale set a new worldwide record as the highest-grossing concert engagement of 2019, beating The Rolling Stones’ two nights at Chicago’s Soldier Field by over $5 million.
The Backstreet Boys also headed to Europe to kick off their “DNA” arena tour and pulled in $28 million from the first 27 shows on the schedule. Ticket prices range from about €40 to €100 in most cities on the European trek that has seen almost 350,000 tickets purchased so far.
The ’90s band has already appeared earlier this year in residency at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas during February and April and are booked on the DNA tour in North America and Asia for the remainder of the year.
B2K’s reunion, the “Millennium” tour, began earlier in 2019 with concerts on tap from March through May. The late-’90s act racked up $25 million at 43 concerts, playing for more than 283,000 fans after regrouping at the end of 2018.
The Irish band Westlife also reformed last fall with four of the five original members and launched a new tour this year dubbed “The Twenty” with concerts booked in Europe and Asia. Multiple-night engagements were set in 12 U.K. arenas including a five-night tour opener in Belfast at the SSE Arena, bringing the group’s total number of shows played at the venue to 65.
Finally, New Kids On The Block’s “Mixtape” tour featured four other artists with careers that spanned multiple eras. With Salt-N-Pepa, Debbie Gibson, Naughty By Nature and Tiffany also on the bill, the trek grossed $32 million from 35 reported concerts with an attendance count just under the 400,000 mark.s