Gogol Bordello at the Boulder Theater, 10/27/10
Forro in the Dark
10.27.10 | Boulder Theater, Boulder, CO
In some regards, a Gogol Bordello show is kind of like sex: It's a sweaty and exhausting experience, one that you can't really fully comprehend until you're balls-deep in it. Sure, you can sneak peeks at your dad's Playboy, get tips from your older brother or watch Internet porn, but you don't really know what the hell sex is all about, until, well, you just get in and start making noises like your boots are stuck in mud.
It's kind of the same thing with Gogol Bordello. You can listen to the band's albums, watch videos, see photos or read about the gypsy punks, but none of it can really compare to the act's highly charged, vigorous shows. But don't expect a whole lot of foreplay with these guys (and gal): Once they mount, you're in for one hell of rambunctious romp, which was the case Wednesday night, the first of a two-night stand at the Boulder Theater.
For nearly two hours, the wiry, whirring ball of energy known as Eugene Hutz, the outfit's frontman, and his bandmates relentlessly blasted through song after song, hardly ever slowing down. Meanwhile, the packed crowd at the Boulder Theater ate up everything the band tossed at them. With nearly every tune -- from the show's opener, the gypsy reggae of "Tribal Connection," all the way through "Alcohol," the last encore -- Gogol Bordello stirred up a frenzied mosh pit near the front of the stage with fists pumping, bodies bouncing and sweat flying around.
The band dug into a good deal of material from their latest effort, the Rick Rubin-produced Trans-Continental Hustler, and the gypsy ska of "My Companjera," the fast punk of "Immigraniada (We Comin' Rougher)" and "Pala Tute" were especially powerful, as were "Wonderlust King" and "American Wedding," from 2007's Super Taranta!. Just when it seemed that things really couldn't get any better, the band closed its main set with "Start Wearing Purple," which got even the people in the back bobbing and raising their fists.
After a four-song encore, a lot of folks wearing T-shirts drenched in sweat filed out of the theater into the night. And while I don't smoke, I most certainly felt like I needed a cigarette after that exhilarating romp.
Click through for Critic's Notebook and Setlist.
Personal Bias: I can't recall any band over the past few years whipping a crowd into such a frenzy. See for yourself when the band plays again tonight at the Boulder Theater.
Random Detail:I could have sworn that Hutz said the band's drummer was from Boulder.
By the Way: Forro in the Dark, a group of New York-based Brazilian expatriates, was an ideal choice for the opener, as the act laid down some infectious dance grooves based on Brazilian rhythms.
10.27.10 | Boulder Theater
02. Tribal Connection
03. Not a Crime
04. Wonderlust King
05. My Companjera
06. Last One Goes the Hope
07. Trans-Continental Hustle
08. Immigraniada (We Comin' Rougher)
09. Break the Spell
10. Raise the Knowledge
11. American Wedding
12. Endless Boogie
13. Pala Tute
14. Start Wearing Purple
15. When Universes Collide
16. Sun is on My Side
17. Sacred Darling
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