By Angelle de Leon
Photos By Jude Ng
Boy George led Culture Club through ’80s extravaganza at the Smart Araneta Coliseum
The one-night-only concert of Culture Club at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Saturday took fans on a joyful trip down memory lane.
The retro show opened with a montage of footage giving a never-before-seen glimpse into the band’s more than three-decade career and friendship.
The audience cheered when one by one, the 12-piece band — including founding members guitarist/keyboardist Roy Hay, bassist Mikey Craig, and drummer Jon Moss walked out on to the stage.
But the fans exploded when flamboyant frontman, Boy George, himself walked out.
Strutting onto the stage dressed in his black and white checkered Willy Wonka suit, George and the rest of the band burst into their first song, “Church of the Poison Mind.”
Followed by “It’s A Miracle” to massive cheers of the crowd.
And the classics kept on coming.
The band all seemed to have a blast on stage.
George looked confident and relaxed on stage and had an easy banter with the audience.
”I like it here,” he told the crowd.
With an engaging giggle he added, “So, you want to dance? You can fucking dance if you want. But for me, I just like to sit down and watch (during a concert).”
As the band neared in showing a nerve-tingling performance, a power glitch brought the concert to a halt.
The problem occurred shortly after the fourth song.
George had no choice but to stop the show when he learned about the technical problem.
It was Moss who explained to the audience they have no power.
While electricians fix the problem, George went back to his dressing room for a “costume change,” while Moss continued to play drums to keep the crowd entertained.
”Good thing about drums is it doesn’t need electricity. So, we dont need power,” said Moss who was applauded by the waiting audience.
After 40 minutes, the show resumed with the reggae version of Bread’s “Everything I Own.”
One of the biggest cheers of the set came from “Miss Me Blind” and “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?”
By the time they got to “Karma Chameleon” and “War Song,” almost everyone was singing along.
George’s smooth and timeless voice really shone on the track “Starman,” by David Bowie, who died early this year.
The band ended with the T. Rex’s classic “Bang a Gong (Get It On).”
Throughout the show, the iconic new wave band proved that they still have the talent that took them to the top of the charts 30 years ago.
It was a triumphant comeback despite the technical glitch as fans happily swayed and relived their poptastic youth with the band’s songs.
It was like no time has passed.
The music of Culture Club still appeals to many because its upbeat rhythms and poetic lines have managed to stay alive for each new generation.
I am so glad I got to hear and experience them live.
The Manila leg of the Boy George and Culture Club Reunion Concert is part of the band’s 40-city tour, which includes cities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and Japan.