TicketMOMster Review: Boy George and Culture Club @ MTS Centre
I think this show would have been more fun if I had gone with a bunch of girlfriends. We could have pulled out the old stir-up pants and neon jelly shoes, teased our hair and caked on our frosted make-up. This show felt like a dance party and I went to the dance alone (as I do for most concerts). Which made me feel like a skinny under-developed wallflower, brooding in the corner because no one is asking her to dance. Sigh…I hated grade school.
I bought a ticket to Culture Club even though I was never really a fan of their music. I knew of their songs growing up, but back then I liked Duran Duran. Then grunge hit and I said good-bye to the male musicians who applied make-up better than I could, donned the flannel and became…more broody.
I enjoyed walking to my seat, past the 40 year old women in neon, but once I reached my seat I was a little surprised. The arena looked to be about half full and the show was starting in five minutes. There were large groups of empty seats in the 100 sections and that didn’t change much once Culture Club took the stage.
I vaguely remember Platinum Blonde as three guys who didn’t look naturally blonde. Tonight, only lead singer/bassist Mark Holmes wasn’t blonde.
I was a bit bored at the beginning of their set, although Mark and drummer Dan Todd looked to be giving it their all. The crowd came alive during “Standing In The Dark”, except for the guy watching cooking videos in front of me on his cell phone.
“Situation Critical” followed, and the guy moved on to videos about skunks. Pockets of people jumped up and danced to “Doesn’t Really Matter” which was probably my favourite song of their set.
Mark told the crowd they were going to play a B-side tune because he wanted to end with something obscure and then proceeded to play a slow version of “Paint It Black” which suddenly became “Crying Over You”. The audience sang and danced along and that concluded their set. The band thanked the audience and left the stage while Dan drop kicked his drumsticks into the audience.
I never realized Culture Club’s touring group was so big. Thirteen musicians crowded the stage and by the second song (“It’s A Miracle”), I knew the backup singers were excellent; three very soulful women, who succeeded in adding richness and flavour to the songs. They were the highlight of the show for me.
Boy George skipped and jumped around in his black and white harem pants during “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya” and the audience responded by singing and dancing with him.
I enjoyed George’s banter between songs. It sounded easy and was mostly interesting. He talked about his favourite Canadian musicians (Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, K.D. Lang & Justin Beiber), the election in the States, and how Culture Club and Michael Jackson’s albums were neck and neck in the charts in the 80’s.
Just before “Black Money” he asked background singer Theresa Bailey, if he could borrow her earrings after the show, which made me laugh out loud.
“Time” was next in the set, followed by “Like I Used To” which was my favourite song of the night. It was really funky and I liked how George danced with the singers. They all looked like they were having a great time.
All the cell phones came out during “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?” which was followed by a couple of ballads. Then Boy George thanked the audience and sauntered off stage.
He came back out again in a green suit with matching hat for “Karma Chameleon” and almost everyone stood and danced. Next up was a cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain” followed by T.Rex’s “Bang A Gong (Get It On)”. I really like that song and the band did an alright version of it. George introduced the band and the show ended.
It’s pretty rare that I regret not going to a show with friends, but this was one of them. Having said that, I wasn’t a mega fan of Boy George before the show and I’m still not. I’m glad I saw it, but would I go again? Hmmm…I don’t know. I guess it would depend who else is going and how high they could tease my hair.
TicketMOMster is a Rock and Jazz-loving Mom; single-handedly keeping Ticketmaster alive in Winnipeg. Follow her musical journey here: www.facebook.com/TicketMOMsters