Gogol Bordello: A Wild Band of Gypsys


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Gogol Bordello is fucking crazy. The eight piece gypsy punk band features a multi-cultural lineup with members from Russia, Ecuador, China, the United States and Ukraine. Founded in New York City, in 1999, they are the epitome of a melting pot. Known for relentlessly touring and high energy performances, they will be releasing their sixth album, “Pura Vida Conspiracy,” on July 23rd.

As an unequivocally diverse crowd gathered at the Old National Centre on Friday night, there was only one thing on their mind, letting loose.

The infectiously energetic style of Gogol Bordello drove the crowd into frenzy as they played a nearly two hour set.

The crowd exploded as Eugene Hütz, the band’s front man, took the stage donning his signature handlebar mustache in front of a yellow backdrop featuring a black fist clutching a sling shot, a masked ballerina, and the word, “revolution,” scrawled backward in black font with the letters, “l-o-v-e,” highlighted in red.

As the band started their first song, the crowd surged forward and erupted into a drunken mosh pit of sorts, with everyone dancing and pushing each other around in a friendly manner.  People were falling all over each other, only to be pulled back to their feet and continuing to jump around to the music.

Hütz is one of the most energetic front men of all time. Traipsing around the stage with an acoustic guitar draped across his neck, Hütz passionately shouted politically charged lyrics and gestured emphatically at the crowd as he roamed around the stage.gogol5

Backed by a violin player, an accordion player, and an exotic Chinese female percussionist and dancer, Gogol Bordello is as stimulating to the eyes as they are to the ears.

The band concluded their set with, “Start Wearing Purple,” one of their better known tracks. The song started slowly, with an accordion intro and ended with Hutz leading the entire audience in a sing-a-long of the chorus as the band jumped up and down to the rhythm.

As the band left the stage, the crowd screamed for an encore. Gogol Bordello quickly returned for three more songs including, “Think Locally Fuck Globally,” and, “Alcohol,” which had Hütz playing acoustic guitar on stage by himself before being rejoined by the band for the end of the song.

The show concluded with an introduction of the band members followed by the entire band taking a bow together. The crowd filed out of the venue exhausted and dripping with sweat as they processed the insanity which had just ensued.

You can listen to the new single, “Malandrino,” from Gogol Bordello’s upcoming album, “Pura Vida Conspiracy,” below.

Photos by Aaron Lingenfelter of Wide Aperture Images