5 Observations from Culture Club at the Beacon (Night One)

Posted by The G on July 28, 2015 under G Reviews | Read the First Comment

Photos and words by G.

Boy George of Culture Club

Boy George of Culture Club

1980s music titans Culture Club are back.  They slayed New York last night, July 27, 2015, with the first of two sold out shows at the Beacon Theatre in Manhattan.  Here are 5 things I observed at the show:

Boy George of Culture Club

Boy George of Culture Club

1. Culture Club have so many great songs!  When I arrived at the Beacon Theatre, a DJ was spinning 1980s music remixed with modern beats, which set the mood for an incredibly good time.  At the stroke of 8:30, Boy George, Mikey Craig, Roy Hay and Jon Moss, better known as Culture Club, hit the stage.  A video montage of Culture Club’s highs and lows preceded the band coming out and then they pummeled the crowd with hit after hit.  If you had the pleasure to be alive when these songs came out, you remember that these tracks were so massive, the radio all but played them to death.  When you see songs as beloved as these performed in a large concert hall, the enthusiasm of the crowd makes you fall in love with them all over again.

Roy Hay and Boy George

Roy Hay and Boy George

Kicking off with “Church of the Poison Mind,” the entire night was a giant sing-a-long, with the audience losing its mind during classic tracks such as “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya,” “It’s a Miracle,” “Miss Me Blind,” “Time (Clock of the Heart),” “Move Away,” fan favorite “Black Money,” “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?” and the song that the audience went the most bonkers over, “Karma Chameleon.”  Two of Boy George’s solo hits, covers of “Everything I Own and “The Crying Game” were also played to much adulation from the crowd.  David Bowie’s “Starman,” which was included on Culture Club’s first reunion album in 2001, closed out the show. But the night was not all nostalgia, Culture Club is working on a new record and 6 songs were aired, including the self reflective “Like I Used To,” “Different Man,” “Let Somebody Love You,” and their latest single “More Than Silence.”

Boy George of Culture Club

Boy George of Culture Club

2. Culture Club’s music transports you back to a time where things were not disposable.  As Boy George pointed out on stage, the world is finally starting to get its first taste of sexual equality and this was the world Boy George has wanted to create and live in since the onset of his career.  When you think of how far we’ve come since Culture Club debuted in 1982, you realize how many barriers were broken down by this band.  How many other bands do you know that were multi-racial, straight, had an extremely outspoken, openly gay lead singer and had crossover appeal throughout the world?  Not many!  Boy George has always been uncompromising in his stance on being yourself under any circumstance and not giving a fuck what anyone thinks of you.  In a time where you faced much more persecution from your peers and the media for being flamboyant, out and proud than you do today, gay culture owes a huge debt of gratitude to Boy George for never backing down.

Boy George

Boy George

3. Culture Club shows still attract a widely diverse audience.  I’ve seen the band together and Boy George solo on many occasions, and you will rarely find a more diverse crowd.  Last night, you could readily find young and old people, gay, straight and of all races and that is a great thing.  I think the audience had a collective realization of all these things I said after “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?” was played and the ovation after the song went on for several minutes and Boy George even had to tell the audience to stop cheering because he was about to get emotional from the outpouring of love.

Roy Hay and Mikey Craig

Roy Hay and Mikey Craig

4. Culture Club has aged really well.  From the songs still sounding amazing, to the fact that the band looks great and well preserved, Culture Club may have only had a few hit albums, but they left a permanent mark in music history.  Boy George famously had drug and legal problems for many years and not only was he in good shape physically, he also sounded great.  His voice is a little huskier than it used to be, but he can still hit the notes and he still lets you have it with his witty onstage banter, his numerous costume changes and his “it quality” as a performer.

Boy George

Boy George

5. I would be remiss if I didn’t get up on my soap box to complain about the excessive amount of selfie and picture taking that went on.  I am guilty of taking photos as much as the next person, but there is one slight difference – I use an actual camera (which is cheaper than an iPhone and light and compact to carry around) and I bring this up because I do not have to block other people’s views to take my pictures.  What exactly are the people doing with all these photos and videos they are taking?  Certainly not blogging about them for a worldwide audience to read!  Cell phone photos come out much worse than camera photos.  Also, they are much more obtrusive and people literally don’t seem to care at all about anyone around them, because the only way to get a photo is to hold the device over your head, which blocks the view of EVERYONE behind you.  Take as many photos as you like and I don’t care if you watch the entire show through the back of your phone – but PLEASE PAY ATTENTION to your surroundings!!!!!  So many times in the show, Boy George came over to our side to serenade us and his face was cock blocked by everyone around me holding up their fucking phones and even worse, their giant iPads!!!  Boy George complained about this during his last solo tour and I wish he would have said something about it last night because it’s plain excessive – and it’s happening at every concert I go to, and as I go to a lot of shows, it’s starting to become a deal breaker for me.

Boy George

Boy George

The irony is that many of the concert goers should know better because when this music came out, it was not a digital age and we actually had to live in the moment and experience the concert.  I guess some nostalgia is conveniently forgotten.

Roy Hay, Jon Moss, Mikey Craig of Culture Club

Roy Hay, Jon Moss, Mikey Craig of Culture Club

The setlist was:

Church of the Poison Mind / It’s A Miracle / I’ll Tumble 4 Ya / Let Somebody Love You / Everything I Own / Like I Used To / Move Away / Black Money / Victims / Human Zoo / Time (Clock of the Heart) / Different Man / Miss Me Blind / I Just Want To Be Loved / The Crying Game / Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? / More Than Silence

Encore:

Crowd Sing-a-Long of Karma Chameleon / Runaway Train / Karma Chameleon

2nd Encore:

Starman

Boy George

Boy George

Boy George - He's a star, man!

Boy George – He’s a star, man!

Photos: No Doubt live in Central Park

Posted by The G on July 27, 2012 under G Reviews | Read the First Comment

Photos by G.

Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani of No Doubt

As a former Orange County boy, it’s always a pleasure to see home town heroes No Doubt.  After taking a long hiatus to raise families, start fashion lines and have solo careers, No Doubt have returned!  As part of Good Morning America’s Summer Concert Series, on July 27, 2012, No Doubt showed the Summer Stage crowd they’ve still got it.  They performed their new single “Settle Down,” their cover of Talk Talk’s “It’s My Life,” “Underneath it All” and “Spiderwebs.”

Adrian Young

Adrian Young of No Doubt

Tom Dumont

Tom Dumont of No Doubt

Tony Kanal

Tony Kanal of No Doubt

Enjoy some more photos after the jump.

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Video: “Suzanne and I” live by Anna Calvi

Posted by The G on August 1, 2011 under G Videos | Be the First to Comment

HD Video by G.

I am so happy to present Anna Calvi singing one of my favorite songs of 2011 – “Suzanne and I,” live from Le Poisson Rouge in New York on July 27, 2011.

 

Review: Anna Calvi live at Le Poisson Rouge

Posted by The G on July 28, 2011 under G Reviews | Be the First to Comment

Photos by G.

Anna Calvi

Anna Calvi

Anna Calvi is great!  She returned to New York on July 28, 2011 to make her US television debut on David Letterman.  Later in the evening, she performed at Le Poisson Rouge in the West Village.  I’ve been listening to her self titled debut album a lot since I saw her in concert a few months ago and the record is surely going to score a spot on my best albums of 2011 list.  Anna Calvi was dressed elegantly with her hair slicked back, wearing red lipstick – looking absolutely amazing.  Once she picks up her electric guitar, she is ready to rock.  Her music has a noir feel to it and her voice is very dramatic with an operatic quality to it that is also as powerful as Siouxsie Sioux!

Anna Calvi

Anna Calvi

She performed my favorite songs off the record including “Desire,” “Love Won’t Be Leaving,” “The Devil” and “Suzanne and I.”  A video of “Suzanne and I” will be coming soon, so stay tuned.  The video will be worth the wait!  She also played a pair of covers – Elvis Presley’s “Surrender” and Edith Piaf’s “Jezebel.”  In between songs, she was very soft spoken, but told the crowd how happy she was to be back.  The crowd returned the love and I am hoping she becomes an even bigger star so I can see her perform regularly.  Her album was nominated for the 2011 Mercury Prize in the UK and I wish her the best of luck!

Anna Calvi having a Jimi Hendrix moment.

See the set list after the jump.

 

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