Gogol Bordello at Alcatraz, Milano

Not yet winter here in Milano, but the temperature sure has dropped. The Milanese people found warmth in Alcatraz music club when Gogol Bordello dropped by to warm things up. As always, the band came through like a gypsy punk tornado bringing the energy and enthusiasm that a lot of shows lack. It seems like Gogol Bordello is trying their hardest to play as many shows as possible. at the highest energy possible, to make up for all the quiet, slow shows you’ve seen. They’re doing a killer job considering it seems like they play every music festival in the world and tour non-stop, all while recording new albums.

Promoting their new album, Pura Vida Conspiracy, the band whipped through an hour and a half of the some of the best sing-a-long songs. And this was a big surprise, Italians love Gogol Bordello. The club was nearly packed, people were dancing all over the place, and girls were on shoulders in the crowd. I’ve see this band play in the states a few times, but this crowd actually felt much more natural.

Since this was a new album promotion tour, they played a majority of the tracks off of it, but not without playing just as many tracks off of their previous albums. The best part of their set was the fact they nicely spaced out their newest tracks with the older ones, and almost evenly included tracks from all of their albums. They crafted their set list as if it was a television show. Just enough of what’s current, along with enough flashbacks to get you caught up, all designed to get you up to speed to love this band for what it is, and what it was. The crowd chanted along to most of the songs, but “My Companjera”, “Last One Goes to Hope”, “Immigraniada,” “Break the Spell,” and all the tracks off Trans-Continental Hustle stood out the most.

[Little side note here: I didn’t know this until recently, but Gogol Bordello is in the Elijah Wood movie Everything is Illuminated. The main character’s cool-dude break dancing cousin? Played by a cleaned up version of the Gogol lead singer Eugene Hutz. And the band actually makes a cameo as the band at the train station.]

If you haven’t seen this band live, and you like a good time, get out there and see them next time they come to town. You will not be disappointed. Especially if you can see them on the Pura Vida Conspiracy tour because the album is off the hook.

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