While he left his iconic wigs at home and swapped his signature ’80s makeup for a more conservative look, Boy George was just as fabulous as ever.
The Culture Club graced Rod Laver Arena on 10 June, taking Melbourne by storm like no time had passed at all, despite it being their first Melbourne performance in 16 years. Starting the vibrant night was an upbeat set by Kids in the Kitchen, another ’80s band, who managed to get the whole crowd up dancing. Danni Minogue was the second supporting act, and while her costume and dance moves were outstanding, her voice sounded rather ordinary. On the plus side, this provided the crowd time to load up on beers and wine, preparing them for the flamboyant night ahead.
The lights dimmed and the crowd roared. While I think I was one of the youngest in the crowd, the audience was youthful and energetic as their anticipation rose; The Culture Club walked out one member at a time until all 13 musicians were on stage, before Boy George walked out in a pink ensemble. Throughout the night he had three outfits, all classically Boy George, especially the neon multi-coloured ’80s attire.
Donning his cowboy hat, Ian Molly Meldrum was front row at the concert, which was fitting due to his relationship with the Culture Club through Countdown. Throughout the show, Molly got up on stage, and while he was slurring his words, he managed to get the entire arena to sing Happy Birthday to George, which was a moment to remember.
The music was enthralling, and the voice was as pure as it was decades ago. The cult classics like ‘Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?’ and ‘I’ll Tumble 4 Ya’ were certainly highlights of the concert, but ‘Karma Chameleon’, one of the last songs performed, was a performance like no other. I couldn’t see any one seated, the entire arena was up singing and dancing to one of their most internationally renowned songs, and the atmosphere was indescribable. Keeping up the energy, they ended with tributes to T-Rex and David Bowie, highlighting the power and connection of music.
Boy George’s ideology is timeless, as he encouraged every crowd member to be their authentic selves, despite society’s definition of normal.
I would recommend that anyone with a taste for ’80s music should put the Culture Club on their concert bucket list.