After seeing Sonic Youth perform in Kiev as a teenager, Eugene Hütz caught a glimpse of his own future: fronting a multi-national New York-based band of ragtag immigrants. Raised on gypsy street music, plus any black-market recording that he could find from the Birthday Party or Einstürzende Neubauten, the Ukrainian castaway soon unveiled an exotically raucous eight-piece, one that crossbreeds Balkan fiddle and accordion tunes with punk-fueled debauchery. But while a definitive term for Gogol Bordello's foot-stomping spectacle seems elusive (Hütz calls it everything from "immicore" to "rural Transylvanian avant-hard"), the outfit's infectious energy remains incomparable. Boasting a pair of costume-changing hotties who enhance the racket with choreographed fits of guerrilla theater, the tipsy gypsies (above) tear through odes to vampires, border-crossing nightmares and backyard barbecues with Stalin. But in any condition -- drunk, sober or lobotomized -- the Gogols never fail to ignite things. Pros't!
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.