TVD Live Shots: Boy George and Culture Club, The B-52s, and Tom Bailey at Morongo Hotel and Casino, 9/28

At a time when many bands from his generation are starting to fall short of expectations, Boy George and the Culture Club seem to be getting better with age. If you get a chance to see them perform live on their Life Tour this year, do so—you will not be disappointed. It’s one of the best shows I have seen in 2018!

The early eighties were a magical time for music. The New Wave revolution was just beginning to take off, and bands like Culture Club, The B-52’s, and the Thompson Twins’ were all the rage. Whether you were in the UK or here in America, their music was making a statement and the unique sound that these bands were putting out was fresh, catchy, and most importantly relevant. Fast forward 35 years and these same bands are still performing at levels that most bands could only dream of.

On September 28th, Boy George and Culture Club along with The B-52s and the Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey made a scheduled pit-stop at the beautiful Morongo Hotel and Casino on the US leg of their 2018 Life Tour. For many, this concert would be a unique opportunity to see three of the ’80s most incredible New Wave acts—all under one roof. For others, it was a pilgrimage back to a simpler time and place when all that mattered was the music. Regardless of which camp you fell into (or what band you came to see), there was sure to be magical moments for all in attendance in Cabazon on Friday evening. Here are a few highlights from the show:

Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey—As the only remaining member of one of my favorite ’80s bands, I was hoping that Tom Bailey would hit the stage and deliver a memorable set for all those who made the trek to Morongo early—and that he did. Bailey’s voice was spot-on and had his way with classics such as “Doctor, Doctor,” “Lies,” and fan favorite “Hold Me Now.” A killer performance.

The B-52s—I’ve never seen the B-52s live, and after this performance I’m kicking myself as to why this didn’t happen sooner. Kate Pierson, Cindy Wilson, and Fred Schneider put on a stellar performance for the capacity crowd and delivered on all fronts. Favorite tracks from their 11-song set included “Private Idaho,” “Whammy Kiss,” and of course “Rock Lobster.” I love this band and they didn’t disappoint.

Boy George and Culture Club—Another band I had failed to see live in the ’80s and I’m glad I got a chance to see their collective magic ignite. It’s one thing to see Boy George live, but add Roy Hay, Mikey Craig, and Jon Moss and you’re in for a wild ride. From start to finish, this show was special. Classics like “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” and “Time (Clock of the Heart)” were peppered in with newer tracks such as 2018’s “Let Somebody Love You.” It was a perfect mix of new and old that took the Morongo crowd on an interactive ride.

Although many would call this a nostalgia show, I’m here to say it was so much more than that. Each band on this bill was rock solid and complemented each other in ways that made the show a once in a lifetime experience. Definitely worth the price of admission!

THE B-52s

TOM BAILEY

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