Last week I caught Gogol Bordello live here in Cleveland. All I got to say is that it has been a long time since I’ve seen anything that fucking cool! They are in a league of their own, and Eugene Hütz is a GOD! I’ve seen some great shit in my day (Nick Cave, Diamanda Galás, Gavin Friday, The Who, Jane Birkin, etc) but Gogol Bordello is definitely up on the top of the totem pole with the aforementioned acts.
I can’t remember when I ever felt so impressed by a band, that I feel it just may literally change my life in some way! Not only do they rock… but they’re a revolution and an evolution!
I went into this show ‘blind’ as well… I had only heard very little by them, but I knew they were connected to Firewater somehow (and that being Oren Kaplan playing guitar for both bands).
I had seen photos of Eugene Hütz (with his handlebar moustache) and I had also heard rumors that this dude gets more ass than a toilet seat (and I was wondering why?) Well, seeing him in person puts it all into perspective…
After speaking with him briefly and how he interacts with people… I can totally understand. He’s slightly reminiscent of Jim Thirlwell in his younger chaotic days… and he looks a little like the actor Tim Roth (someone I’ve always wanted to skank!) He’s got charisma shooting out of his ass, and he’s hilarious. I don’t think the guy knows how to be arrogant… he’s far too social and seems to be ecstatic about the way his life has turned out.
The performance was full of theatrics and talent. The fiddler, an older gent named ‘Yuri’ was out-fucking-standing! I’ve seen broken guitar strings in the end of show… but broken violin strings with a shredded bow, was definitely a first!
Musically, they kind of came across as an Eastern European version of the Pogues, but with more energy, and more chaos. Eugene is frontman Shane MacGowan almost but never was… basically because he’s alert and not choking on chunks of his liver. They also have another older gentleman who plays the accordion, an instrument I now know is used far too seldomly in Rock.
Gogol Bordello is a truly incredible live band with a front man who redefines the typical idea of what a ‘front man’ is and can be. I’ll have to quote Jim Thirlwell on his description of Eugene Hütz “…a one man scene….one man gang bang.”