Culture Club’s one-night only concert at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on June 18 was halted for almost 40 minutes due to a power failure. But that did not dampen the energy of the “Titos and Titas of Manila” who flocked to the venue to watch the iconic 80s band perform their greatest hits.
Boy George, George Alan O’ Dowd in real life, the band’s eccentric lead singer garbed in an over-sized coat and hat, pranced on stage as he belted their chart-topping hits much to the delight of adoring fans.
If millennials still listen to radio, Culture Club’s music would not be too unfamiliar being a staple among local radio station’s flashback playlist.
Along with Boy George the band’s members are Roy Hay on keyboards, Mikey Craig and Jon Moss on drums.
Formed in 1981, the UK band struck gold with their second CD “Color By Numbers” which sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.
Five years later, however, they broke up and Boy George pursued a solo career, which was unsuccessful as he struggled with drug addiction.
In 2014, the band announced that they were reuniting for a concert tour but canceled it due to Boy George’s throat problems.
Two years later, they’re back. Aside from Manila, they will go to Japan and the U.S. until August.
Culture Club’s Manila concert began with the band performing “Church of a Poison Mind” followed by “It’s a Miracle and “I’ll Tumble for You”.
“If you’re into a romantic kind of love with a twist, I guess you call it complicated love, (and you are) a complicated lover like me,” said Boy George in introducing their next number, the minor hit “Move Away”.
As he was speaking and joking to the audience about making a choice between sitting and standing while they performed, the concert suffered a technical glitch.
“I guess we’re out of power,” said Boy George and left the stage.
Moss, Culture Club’s drummer, jammed for a few minutes to entertain the audience, while the staff fixed the problem.
“With drums, you don’t need electricity,” he said and was applauded by the patient audience.
Fans waited and the band returned with a rousing performance of “Time (A clock in my heart)”, their second hit in the U.S. followed by “Miss Me Blind”.
“Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” described by Boy George as “the song that began our journey in music” was next.
We were expecting that the band would perform “Karma Chameleon” their biggest hit during the encore but it came in early.
At that point, the ‘80s teens were in full “bagets” mode singing along, dancing while holding their cellular phones and recording the performance.
In a tribute to the late British singer David Bowie, Boy George performed “Star Man”.
He described Bowie as “the one who started it all for most of us”.
“The War Song” followed, and then a version of “Bang-A-Gong” the song popularized by T. Rex in the ‘70s, which was remade by “The Power Station” in the ‘90s.
Boy George thanked the audience and headed to the exit.
As expected the audience demanded for an encore.
It’s been a tradition for concerts at the Big Dome for audiences to make noise with their feet on the wooden floors at the Upper Box sections towards the end of the show to command performers to return on stage. That’s a trademark sound, which you don’t find in other venues.
Sadly, however, after five minutes of waiting the audience’s hope banished.
Overall the concert was fun, a bit “bitin” (not enough) though; a fab night of 80s music nostalgia, which brought back good memories enough to light our dreams – “red, gold, and green, red gold and green.”