Concertgoers excitedly greeted Boy George, Roy Hay, Mikey Craig, and Jon Moss – the 4 original members when Culture Club debuted back in 1981 – who promptly took to the stage with no opening act. Backing the core members, tonight’s performance also featured a myriad of instrumentalists playing a slide trombone, trumpet, saxophone, and an additional percussionist. George was the last to take the stage, adorning a bright rainbow stripe-colored suit, matching top hat, and stylishly similar patterned walking staff. The first song of the 19 performed tonight was ‘Church of the Poison Mind.’ Immediately following this song, George immediately opened up to the crowd stating, ‘Orlando, we stand with you’ quickly acknowledging the tragic shooting mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub only 3 weeks prior, causing an eruption of applause and supportive screams from the standing-room only Hard Rock venue.
A few songs later, George made reference to his heavy touring schedule as of late citing that he had just finished visiting Japan, Manila (Philippines), and Mexico. He spoke about how an unauthorized video of his Mexican performance had been recorded and already in circulation, and then joked about putting more Mexicans into government ‘here’ (the US) in order to start getting some shit done.’
George addressed the audience frequently in between songs. At this point he began to speak of his song-writing evolving from his previous state of having been an ‘obsessive maniac’ to now being more ‘relaxed’ and ‘mental’. He then spoke about previously bad relationships in which he used to be involved, fittingly transitioning into the band’s next song ‘Like I Used To’.
This was the first Culture Club show I have attended, but future show-goers should be aware that the group’s concerts really make you feel like you’ve achieved a ‘Culture Club experience’ as George was comical and engaging, fully welcoming the crowd into the group’s world. It felt like the band appreciated everyone’s attendance, and George’s honest reflections throughout the night (which included tears being shed at one point) made you feel that much more thankful to be able to see the vulnerable side of this group.
Great show tonight in Orlando!
Hoping to see everyone again the next time Culture Club comes through here!
Photo credits: Lisa Bower Lisa Claire Photography
Write-up by Bailey Guinigundo
Tags: Boy George & Culture Club Boy George Fabulous LifeCulture Club OrlandoUnited.com