Gogol Bordello is a band that everyone should see live. Their records, as fun as they are, do not compare to seeing them in the live setting. The “Gypsy Punks” have recently started to get the recognition they deserve. Most recently, band members Eugene Hutz and Sergey Ryabstev joined the legendary Madonna on stage at Live Earth. An event like that is sure to get the band some attention. Even before the days of lady Madonna, the Lower East Side Eastern Europeans had been creating quite the reputation for their live performances. On Friday and Saturday, the Fillmore (formerly Irving Plaza) packed in a sell out crowd for two incredible nights of crazy music. While I cannot vouch for Friday night, Saturday night was everything fans have come to expect. The band, led by the mustached Eugene Hutz, played with a relentless energy. A sweat-soaked crowd danced along to every beat, with crowd-surfers catching waves again and again. Clothing articles were often flung around, and a huge Finding Nemo stuffed animal could be seen soaring through the sky for much of the set. While the crowd seemed to tire after dancing along to energetic songs like “Start Wearing Purple” and Wonderlust King,” the fire that kept Hutz and his band of gypsies going, never seemed to burn out. They came out for not one, and not two, but three sensational encores. During the second encore, the place went nuts as the band ripped through “Indestructible.” Hutz climbed his way to a small balcony next to the stage, while Pamela Jintana Racine danced upon a drum, carried through the crowd. It seemed like it could go on for hours, with the band continuing to play as exhausted fans threw in the towel and exited the venue. Every time Gogol Bordello plays, it promises to be an incredible night, but this one seemed extra special.
Photos courtesy of Jonny-Leather