Review: Boy George and Culture Club put on ‘electrifying’ show at Stir…


Huge, theatrical, colorful, soulful, funky and one heckuva good time.

But what else would you expect from Boy George and Culture Club?

The flamboyant frontman led Culture Club for more than an hour of its greatest hits, a few new numbers and a couple of excellent covers.

“We are Culture Club, a punk, funk, reggae, soul combo from the United Kingdom,” George said to kick off the show. “We’re gonna do something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. We’re gonna do everything.”

They did. And it was delightful.

And 3,000 fans packed into Stir Cove on Saturday to witness a night of music and singing and soulfulness.

The set was packed with favorites such as “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya” and “Karma Chameleon,” which George called “an old sea shanty,” as well as covers of Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love,” David Bowie’s “Just Dance” and a fantastic reggae-fied version of Bread’s “Everything I Own.”

Fans loved every second of it, as they should have.

It felt like a big party. The stage was heavily curtained like an old theater while bright lights lit the sky.

Boy George himself was a delight. Cracking jokes, telling stories and asking fans about their fashion choices, he’s the kind of star you wish was your dear friend.

If he’s like that onstage, how fun must he be at parties?

Rocking a large black top hat, blue and silver makeup and a long black coat, he was the center of attention. (No surprise there.)

“As you can see, I dressed for the heat,” he said with a laugh. “Never let the weather dictate your outfit.”

I couldn’t keep my eye off him, and his surprisingly soulful voice pulled me in even more.

You forget with hits such as “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” how powerful his voice really is. It’s deep and powerful, and he was buoyed by the rest of the band.

Culture Club sports its original four members — Boy George, guitarist Roy Hay, bassist Mikey Craig and drummer Jon Moss — as well as eight additional musicians to round out the sound.

It felt like a cabaret with a band switching between reggae and old-school R&B.

And the band’s new material was surprisingly good. With a new record coming out in October, they dropped in several new songs, including “Let Somebody Love You,” “Truth is a Runaway Train” and “You Give Me Life,” all of which show new life in a band that hasn’t released a record in almost two decades.

Fans loved every minute of it, all the way to the finale of “Karma Chameleon,” which saw the audience moving like the sea as they grooved and danced.

“It’s electrifying,” Boy George said.


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