The Club also played some new songs, destined to end up on their next album, Tribes, due out next year.
The most impressive of the lot was “More Than Silence,” which came at the start of the encore. One song, “Like I Used To,” was the strongest of the bunch with some great lyrics. Apparently, the creative train appears to be still moving.
With a 13-piece band, including three sultry backup singers, adorned with hats–red, gold and green of course–and a horn section, the sound was really expansive; Hay really stood out on guitar and keyboards.
George, after years of substance abuse and well documented personal travails, doesn’t hit those high notes like he used too, but his charm was undeniable. He knew he had the crowd in the palm of his hand.
They also performed another personal favorite, the theme from the brilliant 1992 movie “The Crying Game.” That was an overlooked classic for certain.
Yet, the most impressive song — as well as the overall night — was Culture Club’s cover of David Bowie’s “Starman.”
Actor Jack Black performed with them on “Starman” in L. A., but there were no such guest appearances this time around. Still, it was a treat to see George tip his hat to one of his musical idols. And, a perfect-Bowie song to boot.
Formed in 1981, the band comprised Boy George (lead vocals), Mikey Craig (bass guitar), Roy Hay (guitar and keyboards) and Jon Moss (drums and percussion).
Their second album, Colour by Numbers, sold more than 10 million copies worldwide and has been certified triple platinum in the UK and quadruple platinum in the US.
It was ranked No. 96 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Best Albums of the 1980s and is also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
The band enjoyed a goldmine of hits, including the songs “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”, “Time (Clock of the Heart)”, “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya”, “Church of the Poison Mind”, “Karma Chameleon”, “Miss Me Blind”, “Victims”, “It’s a Miracle”, “The War Song”, “Move Away”, and “I Just Wanna Be Loved”.
“Without David Bowie in 1972, I could’ve wound up a very boring chap,” he said to the crowd.
Culture Club redeux? Loved it!
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Footnote: Caitlyn Jenner introduced Boy George and the reformed Culture Club at the Greek Theatre in Hollywood last week. And then she took her seat in the audience, where she danced with new friend Candis Cayne, the first transgender actress to appear on a primetime network show.