Boy George and Culture Club brought us A Rainbow in the Dark.
After nearly 4 decades inside the music realm, the 2-time certified platinum, Grammy, and multi-award-winning English act, Culture Club, is back and going strong. Since 1982, they’ve delivered 5 studio and 9 compilation albums, 22 singles, 3 box sets, 3 extended plays, with their current album being their 6th studio release from 2018’s masterpiece called LIFE AND this is their 1st studio album together in almost 2 decades. Even after Culture Club split in 1987, music icon Boy George has never been idle regarding his solo career as he has massed a total of 3 EP’s, 9 studio/5 compilation/7 DJ albums, a soundtrack, and 47 singles. Boy George returned with his top influential act of the 80’s bringing us the trailblazing original lineup consisting of Roy Hay on guitar/keys/back up vocals, Mikey Craig on bass/keys/back up vocals, Jon Moss on drums, bringing us this stupendous production called A Rainbow in the Dark that was originally scheduled for November 22nd at Royal Albert Hall but In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, was rescheduled to December 19th virtually from SSE Arena Wembley. Boy George shared, “it’s time to find a Rainbow in the Dark. Everyone is searching for new ways to connect, and music is our satellite. Living in such challenging times, I hope we can bring you optimism and hope through our music.”
This stellar virtual concert brought 1,000 ticket purchasers together from across the globe sharing in this private up close and extremely personal performance as Boy George and Culture Club perfected their classic New Wave Soul-Pop songs that were heavily laced with their standard Reggae, Calypso, and Salsa flavor. It was like time stood still, or you jumped into a time machine, or the pause button was stuck, as they presented a unique opening number, a smooth, jazzy version of the beloved Karma Chameleon with guest Mila. Then they revved us up with classics like It’s A Miracle, I’ll Tumble 4 Ya, their version of Bread’s Everything I Own, Move Away. George expressed, “this was our first Culture Club realization as we listened to Gladys Knight & the Pips and this next song is a direct tribute to the sound of that era. Time (Clock of The Heart). They introduced a new song, We Are Gathered Here Today, which touched on the current worldwide lockdowns from this pandemic and led right into George sharing, “1982 was the first big hit when it all started for us, then they strolled into Do You Really Want To Hurt Me which had a Broadway kind of feel and Boy George actually thanked Shaker Steven and Elton John for helping inspire this song. The next piece was Roy’s favorite song, the longest two guitar solos they’ve ever done as they rocked right into Miss Me Blind.
Boy George shared, “next is Church of The Poison Mind, which was written in the late 70s and he how life can make you crazy.” He introduced a 3rd NEW song, Girl Gone Bad which blended right into a spot-on rendition of T-Rex’s Get It On. Then to top off the night 1 of the world’s most popular versions of Karma Chameleon was presented. To this very day, I still get goosebumps when I hear the studio version of this hit on the radio, and sure enough, I was covered head to toe with gooseys as they strutted this much-adored piece. George remarked, “There is one song that if you don’t play it people get very upset, I opened with a different soft version of Karma Chameleon and it’s fitting to do the original version as a Culture Club sandwich.“
Boy George sure loves to engage with his fans and was a breath of fresh air as he wore his heart upon his sleeve, opening up how 2020 was a painful year for the live music scene and how he got creative with new songs thanks to Covid-19. I loved how he introduced all the songs and how George showed his deep appreciation by thanking Live Nation and SSE Arena Wembley several times throughout the 1-hour show and making a personal thank you along to Cyndi Lauper, and even Adam Lambert, for their promotion of this special night.
His renditions of their iconic classics were a true flashback to the future for me. This was a truly poignant, emotionally deep, and very moving sure making me cry, sing, as I felt a warm glow inside my heart. What an introspective delight showcasing this rousing artist’s most compelling expression to date. Well worth the price of admission and post-Covid, I am stoked and look forward to one day capturing his brilliance LIVE in person!
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