Gogol Bordello at Concord Music Hall

Explaining the complete and utter chaos that is Gogol Bordello in words is like trying to explain Cosmology. I’m no Neil deGrasse Tyson, but here goes. Eugene Hütz is equal parts Sun and black hole, but never both at the same time because that’s impossible in the real world and also for the purposes of this metaphor.

Throughout the course of a Gogol Bordello show, the cast of characters that make up the rest of the band (for the sake of argument, pretend like they’re planets) rotate around Hütz like he’s the center of their metaphorical solar system. He’s the constant in a landscape of guitars, vocalists, percussionists, violin, accordion and an audience that’s been whipped into a frenzy since long before the band took the stage.

But Hütz also has this inescapable pull that completely sucks you in. You end up mesmerized and completely incapable of escaping his gaze, heavily accented vocals, wild arm gestures and frantic dancing. One minute, your screaming lyrics to songs you didn’t even know you knew the words to as you dance around carelessly, in place, at a sold-out venue that just opened. The next, it’s three songs later, you’ve sweat through your shirt and you have no recollection of finishing that last beer.

I will admit that I haven’t always been a huge fan of the gypsy punk outfit that calls itself Gogol Bordello… but that was before I ever saw them live. Four or five shows later (those festival shows are always a little hazy) I’m still completely taken aback every time they prance out onto a stage in front of me. They’re never anything short of cosmic fantastic.

[Editor’s Note: I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least broach the subject of the newly opened Concord Music Hall. White Mystery opening for Gogol Bordello in Chicago is setting the bar really high for an opening show, and the people at Concord made sure it went off without a hitch. The sound, atmosphere, security and layout were all so far above everything I expected for a venue this new. Kudos to everyone at React Presents, Silver Wrapper and Riot Fest that made Concord Music Hall a reality.]

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