gogol bordello and the case of the worst opening band ever

Holy *uck! As amazing as it was to see Gogol Bordello the first three times I saw them this year, seeing them at the Bowery in New York City in the heart of their own turf was possibly the best concert experience in my 30 years of concert going.

In fact, there were a lot of experiences last night at this show that qualified in a milestone in my 30 years of concert going.

First and foremost, Services, the opening band, was, by far, the worst opening band I’ve ever seen in my…

Services is two guys who were able to pick the worst possible band name in the Internet age. After several searches and many Google pages, I gave up even trying to find a website for them. They both play pre-programmed synthesizers. One works a keyboard while the other presses buttons and smashes a cymbal from time to time, which I thought was all of the instruments he knew how to play until he picked up a guitar for two songs.

They were so horribly bad that everyone, and I mean everyone, around us were all laughing at them. It’s hard to describe, but I think it was the combination of lack of talent contrasted against how much the lead singer thought he had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand – which he did not.

They also had the most powerful, pulsating, thumping bass that I’ve ever heard in my… It was so incredible that I looked up at the ceiling with very real concern about what might get jarred loose from the bass and fall on us.

I’ve never seen a crowd so actively involved in disliking the opening band and so happy to see them go.

And then Gogol Bordello took the stage. I’ve described their show on this blog again, so I won’t get into the details except to say that if you’ve never seen them, put it on your list of things to do in 2009. You will be rewarded for your efforts.

The highlights of the 2-hour show were clearly the 20 minute version of “Undestructable,” the gypsy caravan-like movement of the entire band from one area of the stage to the other, the excellent transition from a book reading into “we don’t need no education” into “Start Wearing Purple.”

The crowd was huge and my wife was among those seeing them for the first time. By the end of the show, she was dancing on the table with three other women (a Gogol Bordello show will do that to you).

Like every other show, there’s already some video online, so here’s a taste of the environment at Webster Hall…


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