Concert Review: Culture Club, November 2, REBEL

Culture Club

A rainy atmosphere was not enough to dampen the spirits of the crowd inhabiting the newly renovated Rebel on Wednesday. The reason? New wave band Culture Club was making their return to Toronto.

I don’t even know how long it has been since Boy George and crew visited this city but there was definitely a buzz in the audience when I arrived and it only escalated when the group took the stage shortly after 8pm (a very respectable time). “Tonight we will be celebrating the music of Culture Club” and off we went.

Armed with a full band including a brass section and three backing vocalists, the group brought all the guns to this battle. As large as the group was, it was clearly the increasingly quotable George in charge. Dressed in a what can only be described as a very colourful suit, George had many great lines during the night including (I’m paraphrasing):

When he spotted a person in the crowd looking at their phone:
“Put down your phone, I’m right heeeeeeere.”

On the lyrics of his tracks:
“Why do our 80s songs have so many words? It’s so much easier now.”

On a fan folding his arms over a new song:
“It’s only three minutes! Get over yourself.”

On another new song:
“A new song is a friend you haven’t met yet.”

So yes, there were new tracks, supposedly off the new record called Tribes. New songs at nostalgic shows are always tricky – at best, a good new song can lead to a new discovery for old fans, but put too many together and the crowd can lose momentum. Culture Club did a great job of mixing new and old and as such, the momentum generated from the excitement and hits carried on throughout the show.

Obviously there were hits. Tracks like “Church of the Poison Mind,” “Miss Me Blind,” and “The War Song” reminded the crowd what a festive and fun band Culture Club are. Boy George sounded good although he left some of the higher notes in tracks like “The Crying Game” to his backup singers. As expected, the biggest reactions were definitely for “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me” and “Karma Chameleon” and both those songs sounded great. A special mention goes out the track “Black Money” which had a lady close to me so excited she wooed throughout the intro of the song but then probably realized she was ruining the track for everyone else and spent the rest of the track trying to not woo while desperately wanting to.

Oddly enough the group ended the night with some covers, which was different, but so is Culture Club which I guess is the point of it all.

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Posted on by Ricky in Concerts

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Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.

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