Buzzed Bands Podcast, Ep. 2 w/ Cold Blood Club

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Concert Of The Year: Gogol Bordello @ Warsaw

Holy shit! Easily one of the best shows I have ever seen in my life. I swear it - I've seen hundreds upon hundreds of bands and this was definitely top 5. What a fucking band Gogol Bordello is, I can't believe they aren't huge yet. No one around now can even come close to performing at the level Gogol does.

If you're not familiar with Gogol Bordello they play a brand of music they call Gypsy Punk. Basically, they have acoustic guitar, violin, accordion, washboards but also distorted electric guitar, bass, and rock/reggae drums. It's an interesting mix of punk rock and gypsy folk music, overall it sounds more eastern European then punk. It gets the Hungarian half of me all worked up.

Anyway, I wasn't even supposed to go to this show. I contacted their management but no one got back to me. Then I asked around the office but no one knew anyone that could get me in. Then my friend Nicole says she has a plus one and invites me along (see I told you I'd mention you - thanks).

We met up at the Warsaw around 9:45 or so - right as the opening act finished their set. Like always we headed to the bar for some of those $4 polish brews and some $2 Sparks - I love the Warsaw. Then we just waited for Gogol to take the stage. I knew it was going to be a good show, you could just feel it.

When Gogol took the stage the place went crazy. The first thing I noticed was the old badass violin guy was wearing a Slayer shirt - pretty cool for a dude that looks 60. I can't remember what song they opened with (no short term memory) but it started kinda slow. The crowd was singing along but everyone was kinda just standing there tapping their feet. A few songs in the pace started to pick up and their was some dancing but it was still fairly tame.

It all started to get kinda crazy when the girls came out. They were fucking awesome and really put on a hell of a show. Half of the crowd at the Warsaw was dancing but they were dancing in place. Shortly after the girls came out the little pudgy dude with the weird rat tail came out and started doing this crazy Sean Paul type shit. More and more people kept coming on stage and the crowd was eating it up.

About an hour and twenty minutes after they started they left the stage. The whole place started cheering and chanting "Gogol". Usually towards the end of a show, even good bands, I'm pretty much ready to go. But no one there had any interest in leaving. We all knew that it would be a long time before we get to see a show of this caliber again. So everyone cheered and screamed and the Gogol came back for their encore... set.

Yes - after playing for over an hour they went into another set, almost as long as the first. It was amazing the place went totally fucking berserk. Aside from the lack of a crazy pit it reminded me of seeing Madball at CBGBs. Instead of pushing and punching EVERYONE was dancing - the whole fucking place. I've never seen anything like it before. And I'm not talking standing in place dancing I'm talking dancing like there's no one watching you type shit.

Everyone was flailing about, hopping up and down, hands in the air, and beer was spraying all over the place. These conditions normally mean some people are being dicks but this was a total celebration. It was like being at some crazy eastern European wedding reception and the whole place is hammered drunk.

during one of the last songs (maybe it was the last) one of the girls threw the marching band bass drum she was playing into the crowd. Then she jumped on the fucking thing and surfed the crowd on it - so awesome. Then she kneeled down and started banging on the drum - it must have sucked to be the guy underneath. Of course the king of crowd surfing himself, Eugene, had to join in so he jumped on the drum as well. Check out the picture it was incredible.

When the show ended everyone had huge smiles on their faces. Outside everyone was talking about how great of a show it was. Seriously, this is one of the best shows I've ever seen. You absolutely must see this band, even if you hate their music - that's how good they are. I don't think it's possible to not see them and be completely amazed by how good they are. The Gypsy Punks own the stage - go see them.

Drum Surfing


Anonymous said...

I can't agree with you more. This band must be seen to be appreciated. Here's a link to my pictures from their SXSW show last month.

reb said...

so true, so true. I've seen them twice before -- the first time b/c they opened for Mano Chao in Central Park one year, the following summer I saw 'em at Fez. By the end of the show, there were people standing on pretty much all the tables and Hutz was wearing only one of those garish looking flowered russian scarves with the tassles hanging down - somehow I think he was on top of the speakers with his shoulders bumping into the ceiling. I wish I had seen him DJ at the Mehanata.
look, they have videos:

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