Gogol Bordello rocks the State

Gogol Bordello at State Theatre; photo by Philip Bardi.

The floor was overcrowded with a seething mass of bodies, arms alternately waving and pumping to the vigorous musical spectacle that shook the State Theatre stage last night. The band, NYC’s Gogol Bordello, played the sweaty sold-out show with such amped-up enthusiasm that the audience responded in kind, pushing and moshing and crowd surfing like it was the end of the gypsy punk world.

With his thick but charming Ukrainian accent, clad in tight and garishly colored trousers, shirtless and with sweat pouring down his pale chest and dripping from his thick handlebar mustache, frontman/Gogol visionary Eugene Hütz encouraged the unruliness, flirting and dancing with the young ladies who surfed onto the stage, good-naturedly tolerating the young men who inevitably followed, and leading everyone through boisterous sing-alongs that lasted throughout the night.

The multi-ethnic ensemble played a supercharged 80-minute set and 35-minute encore of lively numbers that set ska, punk-metal, rap and even some funkified grooves against brisk gyspy two-step rhythms marked by lively accordion and some of the most fast and furious fiddle-playing I’ve ever seen by a man who was old enough to be the grandfather of most of the people in the room. The spectacle was topped off by the energetic performances of Gogol’s pair of attractive lady entertainers, who alternately sang, danced, and played marching band-style percussion throughout the show.

Overall, a dynamic, highly enjoyable concert with a surprisingly large turnout for a Monday night, seeming proof that an interesting and multi-layered genre of music is successfully making its way to mainstream (read: young) audiences.

—Cross-posted from BlurbEx.com.

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