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Gogol Bordello – In Concert.

September 3, 2007

So. Gogol fucking Bordello. What a goddamned awesome show. Not quite on the same scale of brilliance as the Kaiser Chiefs, but a heckuva lot more hardcore and high energy, regardless of their bility to charm a crowd. And if I’d not see the Chiefs perform previously, I’d be hailing Gogol Bordello as the greatest live act ever, because they were pretty damned incredible.

The set did somehow have some DJ (Scratchy Sounds?) as their opener, who, for all his innate charm, just didn’t whip the crowd up like a real band could’ve. But we were pretty fucking ready to go anyway, so that was hardly a problem. I showed up, and ran into Elyona and Ninlila in the lineup, and just joined them – theyre cool folks, and a helluva lot closer to the doors than I was. We grabbed some friends of theirs inside, and the five of us staked out railing-front spots on the floor pretty much right away. We chilled and danced and all that bullshit during the opener, but… When the boys of Bordello came out, we had prime spots. We also had prime spots amongst the Bring Our Own Party set, a group of four or five absolutely smashed and totally overenthusiastic types who were singing along to most of the tracks played in the opener, even when they didn’t know the words, and would chant in a near-unintelligible mashup of English and one of the Slavic/Roma languages for this or that song, or occationally just to end the opener and get the main act out. Sure, they were pretty obnoxious, but also absolutely hilarious.

Then the DJ finished up, the lights dimmed, and Gogol Bordello came out. They started set strong, hard and fast, and kept it that way all night. The press of the crowd was incredible, even after the first track – and feeling that crush from right up against the rail was pretty incredible. All sorts of people tried all sorts of bullshit in order to get up to the front, up to and including attempting to un-crowdsurf themselves as close as possible to the rail. …They got tossed by the crowd, overshot, and ended up escorted to the back by security.

The party set next to us kept it up all night, going nuts at the start of every song, and singing every word along with Eugene Hütz, the lead singer. The band all managed to do a good job of interacting with the crowd, Eugene came down onto the rails t party with the front row numerous times, Sergei, the violinist, also stayed highly active in keeping us all whipped up. Among the high points there being Eugene riding one of the bouncer’s shoulders while singing, up and down the pit area, Sergei striking all sorts of bizarre poses for cameras in the crowd, and the girl next to me getting kissed by Eugene when he was partying with our section-row-area.

Sure, I flew out to Waterloo at 9:00 the day after, and was up at 6:00 to do it, but it was fully worth it. The only downers were the lack of a genuine opening band and the fact that I somehow misplaced Elyona and Ninlila after they took off to the back to have room for dancing, and I stuck it out at the rail ’cause there was no way in hell I was giving that up. I saw their friends on their way out, but never did find them – and they live just down the road from me, so I coulda travelled home with them, and not been the only gleefully damp and sweaty person on the bus.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 12, 2007 5:17 pm

    thanks for sharing this! i had tickets for this but couldn’t make it in the end and had to sell them on Craigslist. boy they went fast!

    Oh, fuck. You were almost there? You missed out SO much, I pretty much can’t express it. /I totally woulda bought you a drink.

  2. September 12, 2007 5:17 pm

    hmm… why are the comments not coming up?

    WordPress’ spam filter seemed to have thought you were a spammer – how, I dunno, I always reply to your comments, and you’ve been here for ages. Fix’d now, though.

  3. September 25, 2007 7:48 pm


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