Posted by: Captain Easychord | January 6, 2010

In Concert: Gogol Bordello

Given the rave reviews that their shows get, Gogol Bordello was high on the list of bands I’d like to see.  With my sights set on making 12 shows this year, I was altogether too happy to be there when they brought their manic gypsy punk stage show to the 9:30 Club on Sunday night.

With Gogol Bordello, high-energy is the rule and this show was no exception.  Right from the get-go, Eugene Hütz and the gang set the tone for the night with a run of five or six straight crowd-pleasers with little interruption.  One of the show’s highlights came during this full-throttle liftoff when the band played “Not A Crime.”  Besides being a fantastic little tune, hearing a packed house all yelling the title in unison created a feedback loop that kept the energy level turned up to 11.  A video of this made its way to YouTube (see below) and the occasional glimpse of the teeming, thronging masses gives you some idea of what the whole show was like.  Other gems sprinkled throughout the set included “Wonderlust King,” “Mala Vida,” “Start Wearing Purple” and opening set closer, “Think Locally, F*ck Globally” (another highlight, thanks again to audience participation).

For the encore, Hütz slowed things down a bit with a couple of the band’s lower-key numbers, but then built up to a furious finish featuring a mashup of a trio of the band’s tracks including “Baro Foro”, “Undestructable” and “My Strange Uncle From Abroad.”  Simply hearing the band seamlessly mixing three of their own songs not in a medley, but rather in a true-to-form mashup was certainly impressive.  But perhaps not as impressive as when percussionist Pedro Erazo threw a big bass drum out into the audience… and then jumped on it himself, drum-surfing through the crowd a bit before literally diving off into the fans’ arms.  Sweet!

When the 9:30 Club is sold out – as it was for Gogol Bordello – I think there’s too many people there.  Either you can’t see the stage or you’re packed in like sardines (or both!) and it really dampens the experience.  In fact, I’ve avoided other shows there that I would have otherwise wanted to see, simply because they were sold out.  Although some of these problems were apparent Sunday night, this was still a show I couldn’t pass up on.  Furthermore, because of the way they could engage the audience, Gogol Bordello might be just the right kind of band to be playing to a packed house.

But minor venue quibbles aside, the band lived up to admittedly high expectations and put on a memorable show. Two thumbs up!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “In Concert: Gogol Bordello“, posted with vodpod

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