Photos by Merideth C. & Review by Dave G.
Gogol Bordello, the self-proclaimed “gypsy punk” band from Manhattan’s Lower East Side, took the stage of the Fillmore on May 26 for probably the wildest show I’ve ever been to. Gypsies are stereotypically known for their nomadic lifestyle. Gogol Bordello lives up to that ideal by being almost perpetually on tour. To play as many shows every year as they do, you have to really enjoy performing and making music for a crowd. From their first moments on the stage to their reluctance to leave it, you can see that Gogol Bordello loves what they do.
It’s hard to describe what happens on stage at a Gogol Bordello show. They only slowed down a few times for songs like “When Universes Collide” and “Alcohol.” The rest of the night can only be described as frantic and raucous; it’s a non-stop wave of manic energy. The crowd was jumping and dancing so much that I could feel the floor bouncing and shaking the entire night. Lead vocalist and guitarist Eugene Hütz is a masterful front man. He never seems to stop moving. I would be surprised if the band’s feet were actually touching the stage more than 70% of the time; everyone was constantly jumping and dancing.
It would be a mistake to go to a Gogol Bordello show if you aren’t prepared for a workout. The band members and the fans were drenched in sweat after only the first few songs. Along with dancing and jumping along, the crowd seemed to know every word to every song. Even if you didn’t know the lyrics, you could easily pick up on the patterns and shout along.
The end of the show was a new experience for me at a major venue. It was the sort of thing you expect when seeing a local act at the Knight’s of Columbus Hall, not a major touring act at the Fillmore. After finishing the final song, “Sacred Darling,” instead of leaving the stage the band formed a line and took a bow. As the house lights came up and “Redemption Song” started playing from the house speakers, the band went out into the crowd to shake hands and hug the fans. It was the perfect end to an incredibly participatory night of music.
Download songs from this set list by clicking the iTunes icon!
- Immigrant Punk
- Not a Crime
- Wonderlust King
- My Companjera
- Last One Goes the Hope
- Tribal Connection
- Wataka Wataka (Not available on iTunes)
- Trans-Continental Hustle
- Immigraniada (We Comin' Rougher)
- Break the Spell
- Jam Jelem (Not available on iTunes)
- When Universes Collide
- Pala Tute
- Start Wearing Purple Encore:
- Think Locally, Fuck Globally
- Dig Deep Enough (Not available on iTunes)
- Jealous Sister (Not available on iTunes)
- Sacred Darling