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Boy George and Culture Club Chevalier Theater, Medford, Massachusetts (USA)

Written by on September 10, 2022

With all the anniversaries being celebrated this year, as the Rolling Stones’ 60th and the reunited Roxy Music (who just kicked off their 50th anniversary tour a few days back), it has been a bit overshadowed that Culture Club’s monster-hit, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”, also has a reason to celebrate as the song was released 40 years ago this week (on September 6, 1982). If you were alive and aware in the early ’80s, you would recall that “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” skyrockted the group to international success and, for a time, made Boy George one of the most’covered musicians in the media (second to Michael Jackson).

Boy George and Culture Club performed to a zealous audience at the Chevalier Theater in Medford, Massachusetts on September 9, 2022. While it was not quite that long ago the band was in the area (they had last played a show in Boston in June of 2018 at the Wang Theater), the crowd welcomed them back as if they had not appeared in decades.

Commencing with a new cut, the bouncy “The Next Thing Will Be Amazing”, the band (George with guitarist/keyboardist Roy Hay and bass player Mikey Craig), have not lost any of the talent and charm that saw their songs reach the Top 40 several times during the mid-’80s. That decade was quickly revisted on the follow-up numbers “It’s A Miracle” and the spectacluar “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya”. “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya” was the band’s third Top 10 U.S. hit they landed by mid-’83, showing that they had staying power and were a musical force superior to several of their New Wave peers of the day.

“Move Away”, the band’s last offical U.S. hit in 1986, sounded even better than the studio version (as great as that is). George also killed with his solo smash, a reggafied cover of Bread’s “Everything I Own”.

As charasmatic a showman as they come, George had the crowd at his feet all night, and shook hands with a few fans. Not a big thing pre-pandemic, but high fives and shaking hands are not as prominent anymore. George gave it no quarter, and after shaking a few palms, he stopped and quipped, “I have a show to do”.

Played mid-set, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” was presented in a slower manner than the studio version. After speaking of his love for vinyl records (and then confessing he gave away his collection years ago), George and company unveiled another new cut, “Drop The Needle”, which expressed his love for records in the song.

The brighest moment of the evening was 1983’s “Church of The Poison Mind”, an amazing nod to the Motown songs that greatly influenced the group. The tune was a powerhouse and George did a tribute to the late George Michael by playing the Wham! hit, “I’m Your Man”, before returning to “Church” and near perfectly recreating the song.

“The War Song”, an underrated protest song, ended the set. Culture Club returned for an encore and tore off a cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy For The Devil”. Whereas Mick Jagger’s live presentation of “Sympathy For The Devil” is quite dark, George twisted it into a happier take and when he bellowed “Pleased to meet you,” he did it with such glee, it was as if he was personally greeting everyone in the crowd.

Ending with the irresistible pop perfection smash, “Karma Chameleon”, the band took their final bows. George then gave a touching small speech/tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth, leaving his adoring fans very satisfied.


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