New wave hits that colored a decade. In-band drama and sexual ambiguity that was a “Behind the Music” waiting to happen. An aging lead singer with an ever-youthful stage name; and an appreciated reunion after years of estrangement. It’s all happened over the more than 35-year history of Boy George & Culture Club—but somehow, they’re still tumbling for fans across all continents. Coming up: a date at Artpark (with fellow '80s icons the B-52’s and the Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey) at 6 p.m. Aug. 28. Here's a quick look at where the band has been and what to expect at the show.
You know them from: Its slew of early-'80s hot singles, including “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?," “Karma Chameleon” and Adam Sandler favorite, "I'll Tumble 4 Ya"; its ever-present visibility in the earliest days of a new music video channel called MTV; and its iconic and once famously androgynous frontman, Boy George.
Noted lineup: Boy George (vocals), Mikey Craig (bass), John Hay (guitar), and Jon Moss (drums).
Current tour’s lineup: All are back, but it took some time. After reuniting in 2014 after a dozen years apart, a serious throat condition put Boy George (and the tour) on the bench. Now on its second tour since—and in anticipation of a new album, due out Oct. 26—the band is delivering its inventive catalog at full strength.
'80s nostalgia—and something new: Whether it be Culture Club or its supporting B-52’s and Tom Bailey, all are touring testaments to fans’ past. Their work is attached to a coming-of-age time and place of individuals’ lives, so naturally, all want to hear these hits. But for Boy George & Co., they’re about to release their first new album in nearly 20 years, led by its currently rotating single, “Let Somebody Love You.” This is no small feat for a band famous for its off-stage drama and on-stage theatrics, and could easily pay the bills by simply cycling through the tracks on 1983's "Colour by Numbers." Instead, they’re still taking risks for the benefit of their already influential catalog.
What to expect: Aside from the hits and new material? Cuts deeper into their catalog, but known by their devoted fans (see: “It's a Miracle”); some appropriate covers by stylish '80s brethren David Bowie and Robert Palmer; and a performance that’s part fashion show, and part amplified testament to an amalgamation of complementary genres. Also, note: If you make it there early and catch the opening set of the B-52’s, don’t be concerned if your fellow concertgoers drop to the dirt and start wriggling around during fan favorite, “Rock Lobster.” That’s the song’s accompanying crustacean-replicating dance, so join in if interested.
Tickets: $17 in advance, $22 week of show; available via tickets.com.