Boy George at IndigO2
The IndigO2 was alive with the reggae-infused rhythms of Boy George last night, igniting the crowd who had come to see the seasoned pro perform a series of songs from his latest hit album This Is What I Do. With equal ease, he crooned a few classics from his own repertoire as well as those by other artists.
Like the best of the 80s generation, Boy George – dressed in black for the evening with a sparkling silver fedora perched on his head – kept the audience grooving to the music, effortlessly singing each piece with his satiny voice. As he strutted up and down the stage, playfully bantering with audience members, he proved that you don’t need pyrotechnics, bombastic choreography and special effects in order to spellbind an audience.
His latest album, critically praised for its strong series of tracks, stayed true to his signature blend of ska, soul and blues. Songs like the melancholy Love and Danger, the hypnotic Feel the Vibration and the atmospheric, contemplative King of Everything are among its best, all of which were performed throughout the evening. For the night’s rendition of the swinging Bigger Than War, Boy George was accompanied by the baritone bebopping of special guest Dennis Bovell, famous for producing hits like Silly Games and the album Forces of Victory.
Boy George’s ability to alternate easily between various musical genres – from his trademark breezy reggae, to jazz, to 70s glam rock – was exemplified by way of slick performances of classic songs from the 60s and 70s. The crowd sang along to the 1987 hit cover of David Gates’ tune Everything I Own, the Louis Armstrong standard What a Wonderful World, and T Rex’s Get It On.
Towards the end, of course, he pulled out his own standards and one after one the audience was treated to Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, Bow Down Mister, and the fabulous Karma Chameleon – performed slightly more down-tempo than usual. Boy George rounded up the night with a surprisingly relaxed finale, singing the soulful To Be Reborn from his 1987 album Sold, and the irresistible Victims, the artist’s 1983 classic from his Culture Club days, to rousing applause.
The evening’s setlist was pleasing and gave ample space for the artist’s showman talents and vocal ability. Boy George is a veteran of more than 30 years whose music nevertheless is still as enjoyable and timeless as it has always been.
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Watch the video for Love and Danger here: