Gogol Bordello!

by | Nov 3, 2009 | MUSIC

It’s the type of music that grabs you by the back, that throws its arms around your shoulders and caries you with bounding elation into the benevolent fray of jumping and dancing concertgoers. It chucks Molotov cocktails through speakers and reads your tarot cards, it has circle pit guitars and trains speeding through Eastern Europe riding fiddle strings and squeezing accordions. It sells studded belts and absinthe out the back of a covered wagon.

It’s the type of music that grabs you by the back, that throws its arms around your shoulders and caries you with bounding elation into the benevolent fray of jumping and dancing concertgoers. It chucks Molotov cocktails through speakers and reads your tarot cards, it has circle pit guitars and trains speeding through Eastern Europe riding fiddle strings and squeezing accordions. It sells studded belts and absinthe out the back of a covered wagon.


This is Gogol Bordello, and if you’ve never seen them it’s hard to imagine how energetically and precisely they fit their own unique genre of sound: gypsy punk. They are a band that thrives in live performance, and their showmanship is of that same caliber of bat-shit crazy hyperactivity as Monotonix and Peelander Z. Just being in the presence of this assemblage of hedonistic revolutionaries gives you the sense that you are experiencing something uncommon and important. And then, like all traveling artists who never quite fit the confining molds of accepted social identity, they move on. It’s over so fast that you don’t get a chance to catch your breath.

Rather than regale you with a history of the band or the diversity of nationalities of which it is comprised, or go into dynamic front-man Eugene Hutz’s numerous side projects (yes, he’s the mistranslating Ukrainian from Everything Is Illuminated), I’ll let David Kennedy’s photographs speak for the experience. If you weren’t there, do yourself a favor and catch them next time they come around. I’ll see you in the crowd.

Matt Ringer

Matt Ringer

A meat popsicle.




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