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Live Review: Boy George and Culture Club, B52’s and Tom Bailey: Forest Hills Stadium: 7/28/18

Amongst the the illuminated tapestry of the crudely macadamized sea foam green colored turf and cemented asphalt, lay a barrage of multi-chromatic, Bee-hived hair-dewed, screaming and excited fanatics, all waiting in breathless anticipation…Then suddenly the stage became dazzled in a vivid purple and the audacious master himself, Boy George, appeared like a raging tsunami dressed in a flamboyant confidence. Salaciously fluorescent in a kaleidoscope of vibrancy Boy George and Culture Club orgasmically captured the essence of David Bowie in a sparkling performance of “Let’s Dance”. Somehow Boy George knew that the world had been a safer place with Bowie in it.

Boy George continued to magnify the stage and seduce the crowd with his Reggae/ Funk, Pop, Punk effervescence, illustrating each song as the set list demanded. He sonically satisfied the congregation’s wishes with 80’s gems including: “Ill Tumble 4Ya”, “Its a Miracle”, “Time (Clock of the Heart”, “The Truth is a Runaway Train”…. He continued to tantalize the audience with his velvet voice singing “Do You Want to Hurt Me”, one his his most compelling compositions. The riveting “Church of the Poison Mind” further enthralled the already elated fans.

Emerging during the English New Romantic era in the 80’s, Boy George was greatly recognized for his Blue-Eyed Soulful style and his androgynous appearance. He and The Culture Club quickly became global sensations, and MTV icons. Winning the Ivor Novello Award in 2015 for his outstanding contribution to British music, George O’Dowd is also an accomplished fashion designer, author, actor, DJ, and remains a microcosm of eternal sunsets in the most glam rock way possible.

Culture Club members including Roy Hay, Mikey Craig, and Jon Moss supported Boy George in tight, spot on fashion. Along with Boy George’s solo recordings they have sold over 150 million records world wide.

Supporting Boy George and The Culture Club was the fiery red headed frontman and co-founder of the 80’s band The Thompson Twins, Tom Bailey. The electro-synth-pop, British anomaly produced a string of hits including, “Hold Me Now”, “Lies”, “Doctor, Doctor”, “Lay Your Hands on Me”, and has just released his first pop album in 25 years entitled, “Science Fiction”. Bailey quickly engaged the audience as they danced to his music amongst the heat of the day.

The B52’s also part of the tour, and probably one of the most danceable New Wave bands on the planet including: Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson, Cindy Wilson and Keith Strickland, rocked the house with their thrift shop aesthetics. The crowd danced in the aisles to “Roam”, “Rock Lobster”, and “Love Shack”, as well as a host of other tracks bound by their trade mark sound.

Boy George orchestrated a sophisticated anarchy that revolutionized the music industry and equality, as he evoked the threat of imagination. He defied music while at the same time defined it, and challenged sensibility while at the same time created it.

The climax of the evening manifested itself like a fierce volcanic eruption as Boy George performed the whimsical, euphoric  glam-pop, anthemic track Karma Chameleon. Certainly one if the most decadent extravaganzas of the summer concert series, and nearly a life changing, must see, spectacular.

Photos: Billy Hess Photography 



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About EileenShapiroRockStarJournalist (18 Articles)
NY Times Best-Selling Author, Rock Star Journalist interviewing the biggest celebrities in music, film and television, and PR Guru.

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