“He has such a beautiful voice. He sounded like a black female blues singer,” wrote Bob Geldof about Boy George in his 1986 autobiography. “Soul. Don’t matter what you look like. You got it or you ain’t.”
At the 9:30 Club on Monday night, George proved that the statement still holds true nearly 30 years later. Decked out in an outfit only George (and maybe Andre 3000) could pull off, George and his killer band—-which included a four-piece horn section—-played songs from his recent record, This is What I Do, and some from his past. “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” was a majestic croon, complete with full audience sing-along, and “Karma Chameleon” was a slowed-down reggae jam. The band ended with a cover of T. Rex‘s “Bang a Gong (Get it On),” a song George played with the Black Lips at WXPN’s Free at Noon last week. It was a joy to hear the creamy smoothness that is the voice of Boy George, because seeing him proved to be quite difficult—-he and the band played in very low light for the whole show, with no spot on George at all. “It’s so dark in here, you can’t even see his face,” a friend said. Which was all very unfortunate, because the spectacle that Boy George is, and always was, is something fascinating to observe.
See photos from the show in the gallery.