my gogol bordello obsession

At risk of losing a few of you, I have to spend one more post on my obsession with Gogol Bordello.

For those who know me, me obsessing over something I’m into is not really a surprise. I tend to immerse myself into things that I really care about. Gogol Bordello is one of those things.

After their appearance at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, I went and saw them again later that night at Slim’s – a nightclub in San Francisco. I was really excited about this because it’s a much smaller venue than the festivals they’d been playing, and I was curious to see how their frantic show was going to translate to a much smaller stage.

Turns out, it was like Dan Patrick used to say – “You can’t stop Gogol Bordello. You can only hope to contain them.”

The small stage and venue only served to make their show that much more urgent and out of control.

Again, I stress to you, if you haven’t seen them live, make it your mission. If you are a fan of live music of any sorts, you absolutely owe it to yourself to make the effort. As my brother, who I don’t think cared for the music all that much said, “well, I have to say it was certainly an event.”

Gogol Bordello is all about celebrating right now. Looking back is a waste of time. They believe the power of music, their music, is stronger than any other means of communication. And I think they’re right. For over one hour, there were people from all over the country who made special efforts to be at that show. People with different backgrounds and beliefs. But for more than an hour, we were completely united by the experience.

Eugene Hutz is as magnetic on stage as Bono, David Bowie or any other star who commands our attention. The only thing that distracts from him is when his two back-up singer/acrobats arrive on stage to highlight him even further. By doing so, you are also drawn to them.

People have thought enough of the Hutz effect that two documentaries have been made about him – The Pied Piper of Hutzovenia and Gogol Bordello Non-Stop. Pied Piper is more about Hutz, as he takes a woman who fell in love with him on a tour of his home country. It’s strange premise and amateur nature make it that much more revealing.

I haven’t seen Gogol Bordello Non-Stop, as it is only now touring film festivals. However, I was sent two trailers for it. From these, you can get some sense of what happens at their shows.

Check these out, and then keep an eye out for when the films come around. It doesn’t look like the band will be in the U.S. the rest of the year, but I’m hoping the film will be.


11 Responses to “my gogol bordello obsession”

  1. 1 Fellow Gogol Fan
    November 13, 2008 at 7:59 pm


  2. 2 Mia
    February 18, 2009 at 6:41 am

    Gogol Bordello.
    I first came across the film everything is illuminated and fell in love with it about a year ago, since then i read the novel and recently chased down the music from the sound track. in doing so i inevitably encountered Gogol Bordello (may i also recommend Devotchka to those of you with a penchant for Russian/ klezmer (or klezma which ever you prefer) music). I bought myself Gogol Bordello’s Gypsy Punks album and subsequently fell in love.

    I am searching for bands/ collectives with the same sort of Eastern sound.
    and would love any recommendations.


  3. 7 Sad Gogol fan
    June 20, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    I am very sad and stressed by losing the chance to see them here in Mexico (tears) I don’t know if I’ll overcome that.
    I realy realy realy need to see them live!!!!!
    That be my reason to live from now…

  4. July 9, 2009 at 10:37 am

    I understand why you liked them ๐Ÿ˜€ I went to their concert this Sunday, they really rock ๐Ÿ˜€ !!

  5. 9 Gogol is love:]
    October 11, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    I just saw them live, and as much as i loved them after seeing them live. Its more
    way more.
    no words to describe the amazingness
    even going through the trouble of crossing the border was worth it

  6. 10 papateetee
    October 21, 2009 at 12:33 am

    I just saw them live in Eugine Oregon a few days ago and it was one of the best experiences of my life. The energy at that show was overwhelming so many happy people in one place. I found this band after watching Wrist Cutters which is a delicious movie.

  7. January 13, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    Hey, amazing post! I love Gogol Bordello also! I even wrote a post about the band also!

    Greetings from Brazil!

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