Boy George and Culture Club performed to a zealous audience at the Chevalier Theater in Medford, Massachusetts on September 9, 2022. Although not too long ago the band were in the area (they had played for the last seen in Boston in June of 2018 at the Wang Theater), the crowd greeted them as if they hadn’t appeared in decades.
Kicking off with a new track, the bouncy “The Next Thing Will Be Amazing”, the band (George featuring guitarist/keyboardist Roy Hay and bassist Mikey Craig), have lost none of the flair and charm that has seen their songs reaching the Top 40 several times in the mid-1980s. This decade was quickly revisited on follow-up numbers “It’s A Miracle” and the spectacular “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya”. “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya” was the group’s third US Top 10 hit that they landed in mid-’83, showing that they had perseverance and were a superior musical force to many of their peers from the New Wave of the time.
“Move Away”, the band’s last official American hit in 1986, sounded even better than the studio version (great as it was). George also killed with his solo smash, a reggafied cover of Bread’s “Everything I Own”.
As charismatic as a showman, George had the crowd at his feet all night and shook hands with a few fans. It’s not much before the pandemic, but high fives and handshakes aren’t as important anymore. George gave him no quarter, and after shaking a few palms, he stopped and joked, “I have a show to do.”
Played halfway through, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” was presented in a slower manner than the studio version. After talking about his love for vinyl records (then confessing that he gave away his collection years ago), George and company unveiled another new cut, “Drop The Needle”, which expresses his love for vinyl records. discs in the song.
The brightest moment of the night was 1983’s “Church of The Poison Mind,” a stunning nod to Motown songs that greatly influenced the band. The tune was a powerhouse and George paid tribute to the late George Michael by playing the Wham! hit, “I’m Your Man”, before returning to “Church” and recreating the song almost perfectly.
“The War Song”, an underrated protest song, ended the set. Culture Club returned for an encore and ripped off a cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy For The Devil.” While Mick Jagger’s live presentation of ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ is quite dark, George turned it into a happier take and when he yelled ‘Nice to meet you’ he did it with such joy, it was as if he personally greeted everyone. in the crowd.
Ending with the irresistible hit of pop perfection, “Karma Chameleon”, the group took their last bows. George then gave a moving little speech/tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth, leaving his adoring fans very pleased.