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Live Reviews

Gogol Bordello
July 20, 2007 - July 21, 2007

By Carl Negro
New York New York

The Gypsy punks struck once again at the Fillmore Irving Plaza on Friday, July 20-21. I say "struck" for good reason, since one can't help but feel exhausted and a little beaten up after a Gogol Bordello performance. Perhaps it isn't so strange that their fanbase appears to be mostly of the under-aged, ready-for-anything (and everything) persuasion. If they were any older the fans might not survive a night of GB's riotous partying, especially on the band's NYC home turf and just after their July 10 release, Super Taranta. Their music is definitely not for the weak of heart or the closed-minded as anyone who attended the show can testify to singer/frontman/lunatic Eugene Hutz's slew of cursing at the crowd, and the band's inability to stick with one genre of music or another. Though the violin-accordion setup preserves the band's Eastern European roots, Tom Gobena's bass playing veers them down a dubby path with that distinctive thump-thump-thump.

Gogol's nothing-is-sacred attitude is perhaps its greatest strength. Without it the band probably couldn't get away with playing Ukrainian dub, giving the audience the finger, and opening lyrics as simple and slyly blasphemous as "…second time I read the bible I was thinking 'it's alright…'" More importantly though is the fact that Gogol Bordello knows how to throw a party. A really long, boisterous, exciting party with multiple encores and backup singer/dancer Pamela Jintana crowd surfing on top of her bass drum. Every pumped fist, accordion solo, or shout chorus sends their fans deeper and deeper into a frenzy. Eugene and company have managed to mold that energy with Pavlovian precision into an excellent performance.