[I started writing this yesterday, but a network hiccup when trying to post it made me lose most of it and I had to start over. I think it was better the first time.]
Tuesday night I went to see Gogol Bordello
at the Newport. Wow, what a show. The band went on around 9:30, and played two sets, ending around 11:30. I started out near the middle of the floor, and it was the first time in years I've had to dodge a moshpit; there's no question about the "punk" in the "gypsy punk" label, especially in the first few songs. But the "gypsy" part was the star, with some additional reggae/dub elements as well.
It was also truly a show
, with as many as nine performers on stage at once. I already knew going in about the showiness of bandleader Eugene Hütz, but the show also featured an Ecuadorean MC/percussionist and two dancers/singers/percussionists (the only women in the band, who spent much of the later part of the show carrying and playing cymbals and bass drum, marching band style). And the front of the stage was rarely without a pair of Russians on electric violin and accordion. More in the background were the guitarist, 5-string bassist, and drummer (the only American in the group).
The whole thing was a much more visual experience than I expected, which is good since the Newport's sound has never been all that great. But of course it was also a high-energy musical experience. Sure, I like some songs better than others, and only even knew the songs from the latest album, but that just means I need to get some of their earlier albums.
There were lots of people taking pictures and videos with their cameras and phones, but so far I haven't found anything on YouTube
that does justice to what I saw (and so far only one set
of photos from the Columbus show).
Next week is Peter Murphy, which I expect to be fun in a totally different way....