The Bowl welcomed two iconic 80s legends to the famous landmark this past weekend with the groundbreaker Boy George and his band Culture Club, and the unstoppable Terri Nunn of Berlin.
Both singers and their bands were responsible for being two of the most radical performers of the MTV decade. From Terri Nunn’s trademark half platinum blonde/half black hair to Boy George’s androgynous gender-bending clothes and make-up, the two certainly got attention for their looks and music.
It’s funny that today when a male artist wears a dress or a female artist sings about sex, no one bats an eye. In fact, they are looked at as revolutionary. But decades before, artists were doing this on the regular – and might I say – in a more daring and provocative way, especially for the time.
So, it was a joy to witness the two groups come together forty-plus years later to remind us how they changed the world.
The first half of the evening belonged to Berlin. Terri Nunn looked as sexy as ever, but it was her vocals that truly wowed. Sounding just as good as she did when she first came on the scene, Nunn proved herself the consummate rock star, even venturing deep into the Bowl audience to belt her hits.
From the opening “Masquerade” to “The Metro,” and ending with the naughty “Sex (I’m A…”), Nunn pranced around the stage, reminding us all why she was a star in the first place. Her infectious, positive energy got the audience on their feet and, when the Top Gun classic “Take My Breath Away” began, had the crowd singing along.
She and the band were truly spectacular and well worth seeking out when they come back around.
The second half of the evening belonged to Boy George and Culture Club. Dressed in a colorful suit and matching hat, Boy George might not be as gender-bending as he used to be; he instead focused on his incredible vocals and performance. Not that his ‘80s antics ever took away from his voice or music, but the two seemed to go hand in hand. For now, his focus seems to be more on the music, with nods to his flamboyant days of yore.
The band played a few songs that weren’t a part of their repertoire, opening with the Rolling Stone’s “Sympathy for the Devil.” They moved on to their own tracks, like “It’s a Miracle” and “I’ll Tumble for You,” before moving into some of Boy George’s solo work (“Melodrama”) and covers such as a reggae twist on Bread’s “Everything I Own.”
Speaking of covers, international sensation Lulu joined Boy George on stage to sing her hit “To Sir, With Love” (from the movie starring Sidney Poitier) as a duet.
The group ended the evening with two encores, bringing out Terri Nunn for the T. Rex cover “Bang a Gong (Get it On)” and Lulu for the classic “Karma Chameleon,” which sent the audience out on a nostalgia-fueled high.
The two B’s of the ’80s truly wowed the crowd and once again proved why the ’80s were one of the best decades for music.