Eugene Hütz may be the ultimate frontman. To simply call him edgy could be the biggest understatement of the year. He doesn’t just merely sing as part of the large ensemble cast of players that makes up Gogol Bordello. He calls out in his raspy voice to legions of fans. He towers over the reaching hands and makes contact with each person watching in awe who just wants desperately to connect with him. This is partly why I think that Gogol Bordello might have the stuff inspiring of legend…the kind of band people will reminisce about for years after they part. It will just be too difficult not to dream of the captivating intensity that made the everyday mundane world seem a little bit crueler in comparison.
This show was sold out, and in truth, Gogol Bordello is probably capable of selling out Metro for two nights or more. The following these gypsy punks have is undeniable and the passion is matched. In some ways, it was more like watching a play or a frantic conversation between instruments at times. The violin sings alongside the accordion, guitars, with the large drums helping to keep a fast pace. Eugene Hütz’s vocals combine with those of the others on stage at just the right crucial moments. It’s a strange sort of Ukranian-based dance that grabs you by the throat and chest.
Clearly, I wasn’t the only one moved by the band’s set, though others used their body as their voice in very physical, and unfortunately, violent ways. I’ve held my own in the crowd at numerous punk rock shows in the past year, including the likes of The Germs, Radio Birdman, The Avengers and The Buzzcocks. In doing so, I have experienced pogoing, moshing, and crowd surfing, but this was completely out of control. Driven to move, the songs commanded limbs and voices to be engaged giving their self dubbed genre on their MySpace page, “melodramatic popular song,” definite meaning. Singing as if the sun might rise before they ended, Hütz and his fellow bandmates played their gypsy anthems well over ninety minutes with a six song encore to their die hard fans. Highlights of the set included, "Start Wearing Purple,” “Immy Punk,” and “Dogs Were Barking.”
Download: Gogol Bordello - "Start Wearing Purple"
Gogol Bordello's Setlist: