I’m not a music reviewer by a long shot, but I really wanted to put emotions and experiences to words after last night’s concert… Last night, June 10 2016, I fulfilled one of my childhood dreams, seeing Boy George and Culture Club live in concert.
Growing up in the 80’s, I had two major musical obsessions (for want of a better word) – Michael Jackson and Boy George. In 1984 I remember watching the Culture Club live from Sydney, which was simulcast on the radio and we recorded it onto a tape which I then played for years. I was 5 when it was on and I was spellbound! I still have memories of the different outfits he wore, which songs he sang in which outfits, and even the place where I had to flip the cassette tape over in my recording. I wish I still had that tape!
I sadly never got to see Michael Jackson live before he passed away, but many times throughout last night’s concert I caught myself in an emotional moment of realising that I was at least getting to see Boy George live, and I felt so lucky for it. Although many people our age wouldn’t understand it, I would rate my love of them as equal.
Culture Club opened with one of my two equal favourites, and the one song that I had hoped above hopes that they would open with – Church of the Poison Mind. It was perfect – instant beat, up-on-you-feet, clapping to music as Boy George made his entrance. I was giddy (literally – at one stage I actually nearly fell over, though that was partly vertigo from looking down the stand!).
This was followed by It’s a Miracle, and they then progressively belted out every one of their hits and some lesser known songs, even including some of Boy George’s solo songs like The Crying Game.
The last song before his first outfit change, Black Money, was a wonderful surprise for me as I had actually forgotten all about this song but instantly remembered it from the 1984 concert. My other fav is Victims, which they played after this outfit change.
Boy George is such a friendly, welcoming presence on stage, involving the audience along the way and even having little chats with some people throughout, and you just know from watching and listening to him that he’s a genuine, nice guy who wants to share his music and his passion with everyone in the audience. In my opinion, a good concert results in you feeling like you almost know the performer better from having seen them – not just watching them sing their songs in a routine manner and walk off at the end silently.
We knew Molly Meldrum was in the audience as someone (was it Dannii or Boy George??) announced it early on, but it was still a surprise when he came to the stage before the encore. He gave a little speech, and it was first time that I personally had seen him since his accident, so that was touching in itself; I hadn’t realised how much of a long term affect it had had on his health. I do feel privileged for having been there to see that speech, during which Boy George and the band arrived back on-stage (with another outfit change for Boy George), Molly Meldrum presented some flowers to them, and then led the crowd in a performance of Happy Birthday for Boy George, who’s birthday is on Tuesday.
A couple more songs including arguably their biggest hit, Karma Chameleon, almost brought the concert to an end, but we knew that couldn’t be it (that was only two songs in his new outfit, after all!). They performed a cover of T-Rex’s “Bang a Gong (Get it On)” which included the introduction to the band.
Then the touching finale, and what made it round out as the best concert performance I have been lucky enough to experience, a tribute to David Bowie, another artist that I would have absolutely loved to have seen live but sadly I hadn’t managed to before he was taken far too early for this earth, and a beautiful performance of Starman.
Well done, Boy George and Culture Club, last night will go down in my memory as one of the best nights of my life, the night that my childhood dream came true, and it was every bit as magical and perfect as I had hoped for and more.
*Photo by Kyleigh Pitcher