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Spice Girls Play Montreal

This is a first. Down at the front of the heart stage tonight are six girls and a guy wearing a carefully choreographed selection of individualised t-shirts. Reading from left to right, their message is Do - You - Feel - Like - It's A - Beautiful - Day.

In Montreal tonight, for the first of two shows, everyone does. In fact it is such a beautiful night that Bono later declares this audience the loudest of the tour.

'Twenty years ago this week or last week,' remembers Bono. 'We played a place imaginatively called Le Club. I don't remember how many people were therebut I promise you this is just great. 'We've got friends here,' he adds, as 20,000 people agree. 'This is for Michael Hutchence who we lost along the way.'

The End of The World gets its own kind of dedication tonight, 'Judas, This is Judas' explains the singer, introducing the track, before turning to another song about 'about death and destruction, about letting go of someone that you love and don't want to let go of.'

'Could be a girl, could be a child, could be an old manager.' he explains and then 'This is Kite' taking up his shining red acoustic guitar. Gone becomes New York as Bono swaggers down the heart catwalk, taking a bunch of flowers from a fan, bowing, blowing kisses back to fans and, in Out of Control, drop-kicking a cup of water into the crowd.

'How are we doing?' he asks. 'I'd like to introduce you to the rest of the Spice Girls. 'On drums, Baby Spice...come on down, Larry Mullen Jnr. 'On the bass, Posh Spice, Lord Adam Clayton.' Here the analogy gets shaky as he asks Edge, 'Are you Sporty or Scary?'

'Wearing No. 7 this evening, he could have come on the space shuttle but he chose a cream Les Paul...'

Cue ovation for latest band application - looks like they got the job in Montreal.

Desire, with Bono and Edge performing at the tip of the heart shaped catwalk, is 'For any punk rock bands, any garage bands.'

And Stay ? 'What's the story ? It started when we were recording in Berlin at the start of the 90's. The Berlin Wall had come down to unite the two countries. When we got off the 'plane we wanted to go to the celebrations for the unification of Germany. So we went and everyone looked like they were having a crap time - very, very worrying how the Germans party.'

Wrong party!

'Then we realised this was the protest at the wall coming down party. I can talk some more if you like...'

No one would have minded but no need. They play music too, this time Stay, illuminated by lighters and sparklers auditorium-wide. The song finishes with lyrical homage to the evening, 'London, Belfast, Montreal.'

For The Fly, Bono takes centre stage, wonders down the catwalk and obtains a pair of glasses from a fan, trying them on for size and style, then taking a camera and attempting to take a photo of himself.

And if this show is getting wilder with every song, this audience are getting louder - technology confirms it.

'Every night we have an instrument that measures the crowd noise, explains Bon before introducing One. 'And this is the noisest crowd of the whole tour. 'Thank you for coming out and spending your hard earned on a rock show. 'We played a big gigantic Olympic thing (Olympic Parc), we played there on PopMart and Zoo TV and had some great nights there in difficult circumstances, so thank you for that and thank you for following us down the Jubilee 2000 road, it meant a lot too.'

As a special treat Bono sings an acoustic version of the song he wrote for Roy Orbison, Mystery Girl before Walk On completes the loudest night of the year.

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