It was an epic battle, with neither side wearing down. Gogol Bordello, possibly the craziest, most energetic band alive was giving their fans at McCarren Pool everything they had with a near 2 hour set of rambunctious gypsy punk rock. The fans soaked it all up, dancing through the entire set, without showing any signs of letting up. It seemed like both sides could last all night, and if not for the need to shut down at 10pm due to neighborhood noise laws, I’m pretty sure they would have gone all night.
Even when Gogol Bordello finally ended the set, frontman Eugene Hütz announced that the party at McCarren Pool may be over, but there’d be plenty more partying to follow at Bulgarian Bar in the L.E.S..
For Gogol Bordello to be playing McCarren Pool made perfect sense. Despite the continuing gentrification, Greenpoint still has the highest percentage of Eastern Europeans in NYC, and 3 of the core members of this NYC-based band hail from Ukraine and Russia.
Hütz and his band of gypsies put on the type of wild show that has gained them the reputation as the most exciting live band in the world. And that may very well be true. Only a few bands can perform with the passion and relentless energy that they displayed in Brooklyn on Friday night. And even when they do, they still have to win the crowd over, which Gogol Bordello seems to have no problem doing.
Even when Hütz slowed things down with "Alcohol"—which he dedicated to a Balkan music legend who recently passed—the crowd hung on to every word. And when this great song ended, the band returned to the chaos.
And even when the band finally finished their last song, a local Samba group joined them on stage for a final sendoff for the crowd, which seemed to last for another 15-20 minutes, while the crowd finally started making their procession out of the venue.
Hours earlier, Murder By Death opened up the concert to a much smaller number of fans. Equipped with lead singer Adam Turla’s deep, haunting voice, Murder By Death’s mix of punk and americana was quite impressive.
Murder By Death
More Gogol Bordello…
Photos by Jonny-Leather