Melanie Chisholm said the Spice Girls were "very nervous" ahead of Friday's Croke Park gig, but their nerves melted away as they treated the crowd to a dazzling display on the first night of their comeback tour.

One of the biggest bands of the 1990s reunited on stage at the iconic Dublin stadium, with band member Geri Horner greeting the crowd by saying: "Welcome to Spice World. Spice girls, spice boys, everyone is welcome.

"We want every single one of you to feel special tonight. Like a king or a queen, we celebrate you. But I got to say there are a lot of queens here tonight."

Meanwhile, Melanie Chisholm told the crowd it was very special for the band to be back in Dublin.

She said: "In '98, we started our world tour in Dublin so we truly are home. It's got a very special place in our hearts."

They were all decked out in suitably extravagant outfits. Horner wore a floor-length sparkling Union flag gown, Emma Bunton wore a shimmering pink mini-dress, Melanie Brown had a glittering leopard print jumpsuit and Melanie Chisholm sparkled in a shining Olympian outfit.

In a behind-the-scenes video posted to the official Spice Girls Twitter account early evening on Friday, the much-loved girl group could be seen gearing up up for their highly-anticipated comeback concert at Croke Park.

Mel C, AKA Sporty Spice told the camera: "We're all very excited, very nervous", while Geri Horner said "it feels really good, it feels just right!"

Emma Bunton, AKA Baby Spice said she is "so ready to perform and have an audience."

Earlier in the day, Bunton said she has "butterflies in my tummy" ahead of the Croke Park gig and said "it's so much fun being back on stage with the girls".

Speaking to Heart Breakfast, 'Baby Spice' said: "It's so much fun being back on stage with the girls. Literally, we giggle to ourselves and of course we make mistakes in the dress rehearsals.

"I've remembered all the words and I'm just getting to grips with the choreography, so I think we're there."

Here's a report from today's One O'Clock news on RTÉ One, featuring a cameo from Dubliner Bernie O'Neill:

Victoria Beckham will not be joining Melanie Brown, Melanie Chisholm, Geri Horner and Bunton, but Bunton said she "really hopes" that Posh Spice will see her former bandmates at some point on the tour.

"She's emailed me this morning so it's lovely - I hope she comes along."

The 43-year-old singer said she had "butterflies in my tummy" and joked that she was wary about putting on her trademark, platform Buffalo boots "cos I've fallen over in them a few times".

"It's the first night tonight, so who knows what's going to happen."

The Spice World Tour was announced last November and will be the first time the group has performed since the closing ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012.

Horner shared images of the set-up for the performance, which features an imposing Spice World sculpture and large screens on each side of the stage.

After Friday's show at Croke Park the Spice Girls will head to Cardiff's Principality Stadium (May 27), the Etihad Stadium in Manchester (May 29 to June 1), Coventry Ricoh Arena (June 3-4), Sunderland Stadium Of Light (June 6), Edinburgh BT Murrayfield Stadium (June 8), Bristol Ashton Gate Stadium (June 10) and London's Wembley Stadium (June 13-15). 

Spice Girls spice up RTÉ Player ahead of Croke Park show

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