Culture Club’s 3rd stop of their Fall 2016 world tour was at the new renovated and rebranded REBEL (formerly the Sound Academy) in Toronto and we were there. Here are 6 takeaways from the show:
We went in without any expectations about this show. Had heard the hits, knew the band from the 80’s but….really went in not knowing that to expect. And how was the show? Really, really good! The band is touring with their original lineup plus an additional 9 musicians (percussion, backup singers, 2nd guitar, keys) and they sound spectacular. Their songs have held up well and a majority would fit alongside any modern song without sounding dated (like other bands / music from that era).
Boy George might have some of the best, original and hilarious stage banter we’ve heard. Sure the songs and band are great but we’d go to another show just to hear him interact with the crowd. He’d talk about fashion, what people are wearing, what they shouldn’t wear again, the new album which has been delayed “our new album isn’t out yet…it’ll come out eventually…in my experience most things do”, how people should be more receptive to new material and more. If the X-Factor / The Voice needs a new judge then it should be Boy George.
Underrated talent. Not to take anything away from the rest of the band members but we were blown away by how exceptionally good bassist Mikey Craig and singer Boy George are. In prior musician nerd chats we’ve said that John Taylor from Duran Duran was an underrated bassist and we’d put Mikey Craig in the same category. He’s an exceptionally fluid, versatile and original bassist who puts really interesting lines that add to the song without being distracting. And we’d always know Boy George as a personality but hadn’t paid enough attention to his singing. He has a very original voice and timbre and his voice has taken on a smokier sound with age and it really suits the songs and sound. In fact he sounds more Motown gospel soul than ever.
Covers. Culture Club played all of the hits you’d expect as well as some great back catalog material but we really enjoyed their take on some cover material; particularly their Purple Rain cover that we’ve shared a fan shot video of below.
It’s difficult to focus on a concert during game 7 of the world series. Just sayin…..
The venue. REBEL really looks (and sounds) amazing. It’s far more spacious, it has great lighting & sightlines and will be one of Toronto’s most versatile venues. Looking forward to more shows here.
Church of the Poison Mind
It’s a Miracle
I’ll Tumble 4 Ya
Everything I Own
Time (Clock of the Heart)
Like I Used To
Miss Me Blind
The Crying Game
Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?
The War Song
Get It On