Gogol Bordello, Valient Thorr, and Dan Sartain
Irving Plaza, December 21, 2006
Irving Plaza, around the corner of Union Square at 14th Street, houses alternative bands with an established name. One of those well established names is Gogol Bordello, the mix of east-European immigrants residing in New York that play a polka version of Manu Chau. That seems less of a stretch that it at first hearing may sound given the simplistic beat of both polka and ska with a folkloristic overtone. And although Irving Plaza is a large venue for alternative standards, the house was not only completely full but moving up and down from beginning to end.
The gypsy punks of Gogol Bordello really know how to rise to the occasion, be it a well oiled machine with an absolute professional sense for entertainment, but the joy pours so directly, straight from the heart, without any pretension, a feature typical of East-European culture perhaps, that you get sucked into the eye of the storm of gypsy joy. Of course, being an immigrant myself, I realize we are all gypsys at heart and the motley crowd of Gogol Bordello onder the tireless lead of Eugene Hutz is a living example of gypsy glory. It is evident that the best place to see the energy explode is here, of all towns, in New York, in the greatest of all gypsy towns, just around the corner from the band’s base at the Bulgarian Bar, where they host after parties that are well known to end with every body dancing on the tables. Continue reading