Gogol Bordello @ Irving Plaza, NYC

Live Reviews | Jul 23rd, 2007

Gogol Bordello

Opening Bands: Size Queens
Band Links: link

Since Adam already wrote a concert review for this show (surprisingly), I’d figure I would talk about the show some more. It’s been a year since I last saw Gogol Bordello, who happen to be one of my favorite bands. I’ve seen them twice and every time they play in the city, I try my best to see them live. Gogol Bordello, by far, put on one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen! And what’s great about going to their shows, is bringing my friends who haven’t witnessed a Gogol show yet. This time Adam and my brother’s fiance were the newbies. They certainly became fans of the band after that show! (no matter what Adam tells you haha).

I arrived an hour early before the show because I wanted a good spot to see the show. Of course Adam wanted to go to the brewery instead…since he’s an alcoholic n’ all (that’s for calling me a Witness Adam! Hahaha). I told Adam to stay and see what all fuss is all about and stop being a cynical bastard. Once inside, my group headed right up to the top and stayed there the entire night. DJ Scratchy was performing a mixture of Eastern European music and a few reggae/ska songs. I’ve been a fan of Scratchy’s because I’ve seen him DJ before the Pogues a few times now and he always has a great selection of music. If I was going to be a DJ, I would do what he does and just play a wide variety of stuff. The first band came on and I didn’t know what to expect. Let’s just say I wish DJ Scratchy just continued to play music. The band was called Size Queens and I felt like jumping off the balcony and ending it all right there. Maybe that’s a little too harsh but I simply didn’t think this band was any good. The singer wasn’t much of a singer and pretty much just talked over some bad songs. Every song sounded the same.

After that band, I went down to the photo pit area to await Eugene Hutz and the rest of Gogol Bordello. I was told that the photographers were only allowed 2 songs this time, and we have to stay out of the DVD camera crew’s way. So besides having to deal with other photographers and the bouncers, we have to move around a DVD crew as well. Just lovely. But once the bouncers stood up on the gates, it made more room and I got the pictures I needed. The band hit the stage after Scratchy was pumping up the crowd with Eastern European music. Gogol started off with “Ultimate” off their brand new album ‘Super Taranta.’ As soon as the band played, my hairs on my arms & neck were standing up. Their live sound is just so intense, loud and bassy but in a good way. It just makes you want to start dancing like a madman, but obviously I couldn’t since I had a bunch of photos to take. I actually managed to take 150 quality photos in 2 songs! I think that’s pretty impressive if I say so myself.

After “Ultimate,” they played “Immigrant Punk.” After those two awesome songs, I headed back up to the balcony. Being in the crowd is one thing, but witnessing the show from the balcony is actually a fun sight to see. You just see everyone having a good time, jumping up & down all at once. My older brother was in the crowd so I was watching him act like a goofball and start up dance pits. Plus there was quite an abundance of hot women at the show as well. Adam is right, the chicks really do love Gogol! I had one girl dancing near me and it was hard to keep my eye on the band sometimes. Seriously! GB played a lot of songs from their previous album “Gypsy Punks Underdog World Strike” but they also played a few from their new album. I actually thought I’d be hearing a lot from that album but they mixed it up quite well. The “soon to be instant classics” (as Eugene called it) that were played were “Wonderlust King,” “Forces of Victory,” “Harem in Tuscany,” and one of my newest faves “Tribal Connection.” I’m not sure why I like “Tribal Connection” so much, maybe it’s just got a reggae vibe to it? Pamela and Elizabeth came out every once & while for certain songs, and sang on “East Infection.” I always like when they come out on stage, for obvious reason. But they also just add to the mayhem that’s happening on stage. I love when they play the song “60 Revolutions,” because Eugene plays a bucket on the mic stand. I wonder how many buckets he goes through each year? He seems to damage them every show. Eugene didn’t really seem to talk much in-between songs, and they just played song after song. But clearly all of the band members were glad to be home from touring all summer in Europe (which they are heading back there again). I’ve noticed when bands play in their homes, they tend to give it their all more.

After their set, they came back for technically 3 encores. Eugene, Yuri and Sergey came out and did “Avenue B” for Dj Scratchy, and they also played a few others. I was waiting all night for “Baro Foro” because usually Eugene and Pamela would get on the drum in the crowd, and this time just Pamela did. Eugene climbed up to the left side of the stage, near the balcony. I was parallel with him and was taking a few pictures of him until Pamela got on the drum. She was up there for a few minutes until it started to get a little shaky. Then she got down but I managed to get some amazing pictures of her on there. Definitely worth standing in the same spot the whole night. They finished the night off with the cover of “Mala Vida.” Then Eugene invited everyone back for the after party at the local Bulgarian Bar. Sadly, I didn’t go since I’m a wuss and wanted to go to bed. But perhaps next time. If you get the chance to see Gogol Bordello, do so! Even if you aren’t a fan, you’ll appreciate them afterwards. Trust me damnit, I know what i’m talking about!


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