This weekend bohemian gypsy folk kicked off an night that ended with Irish punk-folk...and it was good. Really really good!
If you don't have a good time at a Gogol Bordello / Flogging Molly show you just don't want to. Or you don't have a pulse. Or a sense of irony and whimsey and fun.
Gogol Bordello, for the uninitiated, is a self-described "gypsy punk" band. Led by Eugene Hutz, the band features a whole crew of musicians whose talent is only rivaled by their energy. A night of Gogol Bordello feels, in the end, a bit like you just had a workout; fact is you probably did!
The thirteen song set list (plus one encore...yes and 'opener' who is good enough to warrant their own encore) powers out from the word go with "We Rise Again." The band are all over the stage! Whether it's Hutz dancing from one side to the other, waving a wine bottle as he growls out the lyrics; co-vocalist Elizabeth Sun keeping pace with Hutz when she's not back picking up percussion (marching bass drum anyone?)or even Sergey Ryabtsev & Pasha Newmerzhitsky with their violin and accordion (respectively) rocking out to the dancing and wildly cheering crowds, Gogol Bordello are a brilliant, alive and electric act. Even a couple of members of Flogging Molly were spotted down in the audience for their tour-mates act.
Flogging Molly came out second, but never second! The band have been around since 1997 but you'd never know it with the vibrant energy of their show. From the off-stage start of the old Irish ballad "The Auld Triangle" it quickly takes off with front man Dave King growling out the lyrics under bright spots as his band grinds out the rest of the song. It's clear they're there to have a good time and by God...everyone is coming with them!
It doesn't take much convincing. Before "The Auld Triangle" ended there were already crowd surfers in the air, piling down into the pit. And it doesn't stop through the whole of 19 songs, including a new track called "Guns of Jericho" sandwiched in with tried and true like "Float" and "Seven Deadly Sins." The band played with manic precision and the crowd reacted with plain old mania.
The tour is just getting going too. Check out dates here. If you're hitting Lollapalooza this year, be sure to catch Gogol there too!