Concert Review

Concert Review: Gogol Bordello at Marquee Theater

Here are just a few of the scenes I witnessed last night at the Gogol Bordello concert at the Maruquee: Complete strangers linked arms like brothers and can-caned in a circle pit while avoiding incoming moshers. Lead singer Eugene Hutz at one point used not one but two microphones to belt out lyrics. Dancing girls Pamela Jintana Racine and Elizabeth Sun wailed like banshees on Violinist Sergey Ryabtsev's mic while dancing with frenetic intensity.

But the most amazing scene of all may be that a band consisting of members from the Ukraine, Russia, Israel, Ethiopia, Scotland, Ecuador and the U.S. got a venue full of Tempe kids to dance and wail like a gang of intoxicated gypsies.

Gogol Bordello, who seek to infiltrate the English speaking world with East-European music and ideologies, wouldn't want it any other way.

But before we get to far into the intricacies of last night's show at the Marquee I'd like to say a little something about the opening act Apostle of Hustle. Unfortunately, I can't say much as their performance was completely forgettable. The only moment that sticks out in my mind is when lead singer/ guitarist Andrew Whiteman introduced a song by saying "this is a song about being dead."

Odd, I thought, that a droning two-man band from Canada would play the downer card to open up for Gogol Bordello.

Not that Gogol Bordello doesn't have songs that deal with serious issues, but whether they were talking about instigating a cultural revolution ("Sally") or just a kooky neighbor who won't stop wearing purple ("Start Wearing Purple") last night, they did it with an infectious sense of undiluted joy. That feeling continued to permeate the show as they ran through "Wonderlust King," "Not a Crime," "Think Locally, Fuck Globally" and their encore consisting of "Alcohol," "Undestructable" and a medley of lines and lyrics from most of the songs they played that night.

Simply put, last night's Marquee show solidified Gogol Bordello as the cure for a disease known as the average, every day life. You may not buy into the cultural philosophies of Eugene Hutz, but if you were at the Marquee last night you couldn't help but shake your ass to a gypsy violin.

Critic's Notebook:

Last Night: Gogol Bordello and Apostle of Hustle at Marquee Theater

Better Than: Just about any of the shows I've seen at the Marquee as of late or (likely) any of the shows they've got coming up.

Personal Bias: Listening to a Gogol Bordello CD is only half the experience. Here's hoping that if you have and you liked their music you made it out to the Marquee last night.

Random Detail: I have a question for drunk girls who tongue strangers in the crowd. Are you aiming for their ears or do you just miss?

Further Listening: The Baghdaddies

By the Way: "If we are here not to do what you and I wanna do and go forever crazy with it why the hell are we even here?"

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Jonathan McNamara