Brighton beach party

Gogol Bordello, Roxy, October 11, 2007
By JON GARELICK  |  October 15, 2007
COMRADES! Eugene Hütz and Gogol Bordello are still surprised to be here.

Slideshow: Gogol Bordello at Roxy, October 11, 2007
If Gogol Bordello have the hottest show around right now, maybe it’s because, unlike a lot of everyday spazz and pap, they actually have something to say — or at least better stories to tell. “Have you ever been to American wedding?” sang Eugene Hütz at the sold-out Roxy a week ago last Thursday. “Where is the vodka, where’s marinated herring?” Hütz has a million of ’em. “Your country raised you/Your country fed you/And just like any other country/It will break you.” Transplanted Ukrainian Hütz brewed up Gogol Bordello in Brooklyn in the mid ’90s, and he still seems surprised to be here — he’s tickled by America’s contradictions, the abundance and the stinginess. Everything is food, and sex, and booze — but where’s the vodka and the herring? How can a country that invented the Stooges be so fucked up?

At the Roxy, Gogol Bordello were like a Balkanized version of Kid Creole and the Coconuts in their variety and theatricality: the gray-bearded fiddler, the tall African-American bass player, the short accordion player in button-festooned engineer cap, the two Asian-cutie back-up singers in Soviet head scarves and orange halter tops banging a parade drum and cymbals, the tummler/hype-man percussionist who spelled Hütz on some of the raps. And Hütz himself — bare-chested and bearded, Iggy Pop as Rasputin, slamming chords flamenco-style on his acoustic guitar, yelling out heavily accented lyrics. This was Eastern party music, big stomping polkas with Colombian or klezmer accents that got the mosh pit pogoing high, yelling “Hey!” on 2 and 4. The whole band came to the front of the stage, pogoing too, alternating the polka beats with big guitar-and-bass power chords on the 1. “You didn’t lose the shape while we were gone!”, Hütz told the crowd. “I know we didn’t.” Indeed.


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  Topics: Live Reviews , Iggy Pop, Eugene Hutz, Gogol Bordello,  More more >
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