Posted in music | pictures on December 28, 2009

photos by Paul Birman, words by Elina Miller

Eugene Hutz & Gibby Haynes
Gogol Bordello

Brazilian songstress Marianni readied Gogol fans - an eclectic mix of hipsters, aspiring gypsy punks and gritty Russians clad in all black - for the sold-out spectacle at Webster Hall on Sunday (12/27). The crowd erupted in elation as she announced a "Russian-Brazilian" song and a buttoned down, almost clean-cut Eugene Hutz emerged to perform a duet.

Later in the night, despite having taken several generous swigs of red wine, Hutz still mustered up the quick-witted coordination to dodge a bra and a roll of toilet paper hastily hurled at him from the depths of the audience. Think Bush Iraqi shoe style if Bush had a handlebar mustache, an acoustic guitar and boasted 1% body fat. In a nod to his motherland, Hutz did accept a Ukrainian flag that had been waving wildly in the crowd and draped it over his shoulders. He also managed to stick his head through the t-shirt of Gibby Haynes from Butthole Surfers who unexpectedly emerged from backstage to perform "I Don't Give a Fuck" alongside Hutz.

If Gogol Bordello is the circus then Hutz is the fearless ringmaster. Building off his raw energy and emotion, the band always manages to whip the expectant crowd into a frenzy. I've never left a show without tapping my foot wildly and wanting to punch up my wardrobe with purple. This time was no exception.

Gogol Bordello continue their three-night run at Webster Hall tonight/Monday (12/28) and Tuesday (12/29). More pictures from Sunday night, including one of the setlist, below...

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Comments (95)

Honestly one of the best concert experiences in my life. The crowd was into it in the best way possible, no assholes, just people jumping, putting their arms around eachother, and having fun. And gogol put on a hell of a show. ready to go back tonight, and damn are my legs sore :D

Posted by Michael Zonenashvili | December 28, 2009 12:18 PM

Excellent photos! Love the black and white.

Posted by Brian | December 28, 2009 12:18 PM

when is this bad going to drop their phony Eastern European immigrants shtick?

they're just hippies from Burlington, Vermont

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 12:41 PM

were there a lot of people selling/giving away extras last night?

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 12:43 PM

Yes, there were.

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 12:46 PM

anyone have the set times?

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 12:50 PM

NERDS!

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 12:53 PM

big ole yawn for these clowns

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 1:01 PM

1:01 I am not really into Gogol..saw them at All Points out of curiosity. I am not going to say I am even a converted fan after seeing them but there is one thing you can't say is that they are boring. The crowd really feeds off these guys and there live show was very entertaining.

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 1:12 PM

12:41- Not true.

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 1:25 PM

12:41 is 100% true.

and 1:01 is right, these guys may be energetic on stage but what they're doing is hacky bs with a phony "we're gypsy immigrants" story to paper over how uninteresting their music is

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 1:28 PM

nope. not true 12:41

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 1:37 PM

prove it, 1:37

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 1:39 PM

to those that think eugene is not eastern european - have you hipster middle class idiots ever considered that eugene had to come to burlington as a result of chernobyl exploding in ukraine. I realise your parents probably left you with your aunt when they went to aspen slopes during your childhood and it really affected you traumatically but don't diss what you don't know. there is a big difference between eating ben and jerries in vermont and hoping phish are playing soon and being placed there in an evacuation camp with zero knowledge of english.

their stories would break your heart if you knew them but then again if posting the same message repeatedly on a board is tandamount to your existance i guess you will never understand.

i would love to beat you to a pulp.

Posted by fush you mang | December 28, 2009 1:41 PM

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 1:42 PM

12:41 & 1:28

prior to immigrating to the US, hutz and his family spent years bouncing from one refugee camp to another after fleeing their hometown in ukraine because of chernobyl. if that doesn't qualify him as a gypsy immigrant, i'm not sure what would...

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 1:46 PM

hutz's family are immigrants, the rest fthe band are not really.

hutz came over as a kid though, and the story's not anything special. New York is full of immigrants with far more heartbreakingly legit stories.

frankly, these guys should be a bit ashamed of themselves for milking the "we're immigrants" line as part of their backstory. Shouldn't their music speak for itself?

problem is, they're not actually very good so the bullshit backstory is HUGE to their success. Teenagers and NPR listeners eat up that kind of shit like it's pancakes

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 1:49 PM

you're dumb 1:49

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 1:53 PM

"ukrainian" and "gypsy" are the same thing only if you're casting hollywood movies or writing press releases

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 1:54 PM

you work for the band, 1:53

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 1:55 PM

oh yes, wikipedia is totally reliable!

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 1:56 PM

It looks like Oliver Charles is permanent drummer for Gogol. I thought he was temp fill-in for APW this year.

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 1:59 PM

thomas - ethiopian
oren - israel
sergey / yury - russian
liz - british
pedro - ecuador
eugene - ukraine

sound like immigrants to me!!!

Posted by fush you mng | December 28, 2009 2:01 PM

sounds like exaggeration / nothing special to me

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 2:04 PM

sounds like someone in the band's publicist's office is seriously freaking out re: this "they're not really immigrants" claim.

gee, I wonder why that is?

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 2:08 PM

hippies from Vermont

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 2:10 PM

wait wait wait.. are you immigrant deniers serious about this? so like.. eugene has been faking his thick russian accent this whole time?

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 2:10 PM

hutz is from an immigrant family, the rest aren't.

for the record, even hutz spent most of his life in the US, so he's hardly the foreigner he claims himself to be

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 2:12 PM

"they're gypsies" is possibly the silliest reason to pay attention to a band ever

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 2:13 PM

everyone above me = turd

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 2:15 PM

go to the show and you will get why people like them. you haters

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 2:15 PM

yeah, they totally jump around and wear "gypsy" outfits! it's so awesome!

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 2:16 PM

accordions! no one ever thought of that before

oh wait... weird al

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 2:18 PM

cunts

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 2:28 PM

you people are so ridiculous. i don't know why you think you have the right to deem who is an immigrant and who isn't. honestly? judging someone/something you don't even remotely know does not exactly make for a credible argument.

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 2:31 PM

these guys are for dumbshit kids and 35 year olds who want to pat themselves on the back for their "multiculturalism"

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 2:32 PM

you wanna pierogi?

Posted by zincink | December 28, 2009 2:41 PM

when a band makes "we're immigrants" a central part of their reason to exist, it becomes relevant whether or not they are really immigrants.

It's tacky to claim to be something you're not in order to make your band more popular, and beyond that it's fully insulting to actual immigrants with actually harrowing life stories.

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 2:44 PM

start wearing purple

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 2:46 PM

hummus

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 2:55 PM

Bottom Line: Entertaining live act with a killer stage presence, a rowdy energy to their music and a party-ready fan base. Makes for a damn good time.

Was my first time seeing them last night. And I most definitely will be back.

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 3:07 PM

Are you mad because he worked his ass off and made something out of nothing?

The music is vibrant and exciting and I would gladly spend my money on Gogol Bordello. It is sad you are wasting negative energy posting about the validity of being an immigrant instead of listening to the music and what it might represent.

Posted by real | December 28, 2009 3:22 PM

it doesn't represent--it's pop

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 3:28 PM

here's an excerpt from something a dude i like said that seems to relate to much of the above banter:

"There are so many wonderful things to discover out in the wide wide world of the interweb and the world in general. Blows my mind that people would waste their time slamming stuff they don't like or don't understand. Go find the stuff you like. Things you like to hear, taste, smell, touch, see. And let those events and moment inspire you to go create something that expresses that same moment."

i really like that.

Posted by Walter | December 28, 2009 3:32 PM

Hey, what time did Gogol Bordello go on last night?

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 3:43 PM

2:44, you're not getting it. you seem to be so set on the fact that they're not immigrants, but where are you getting this information from? just because you repeat it does not make it so. you are factually incorrect. you have NO idea of their life stories and what they've been through, so how dare you decide that someone's life wasn't harrowing for them. it's absolutely disgusting. get off your high horse and get back to your (clearly) miserable existance.

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 3:55 PM

@3:43 9..ish

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 3:58 PM

it was my first time seeing them last night and i must say i was quite imnpressed. wish i was more in an upbeat mood but i had a good experience nevertheless. would maybe see them again. really good energy from both the band and crowd.

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 4:01 PM

i like gogol bordello because they are incredibly fun. not because they are/aren't immigrants

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 4:17 PM

According to ticketmaster the Dillinger Escape Plan is opening tomorrow!?!? WTF I gotta see this!!!

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 4:25 PM

hey everbody.... let's keep debating about this immigration bullshit some more!

geez, isn't it about the music?

Posted by jack | December 28, 2009 5:00 PM

anon 2:10, you ignorant douche bag that should be castrated, just because he has a thick russian accent doesn't make him an immigrant. The fact is that he's been in this country for decades. That he didnt take the time to learn to speak the language is a reflection on his intelligence and priorities, not on his immigration status.

and 1:41, not only did you spell tantamount incorrectly but you used it incorrectly. Please give me your address so I can beat your ignorant mind to a bloody pulp.

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 5:18 PM

^^
hilarious. "you spelled tantamount incorrectly. improper usage. and now, you must die."

Posted by best of bv | December 28, 2009 5:30 PM

hahaha. 5:18 - truly tantamount to pure brilliance.

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 5:43 PM

t3e important thing about these guys is that... wait there's nothing important about this band.

they're cookie cutter bullshit with a fakey accent.

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 6:43 PM

Gogol Bordello is about an exciting and special as the white boy funk party band in your average 2nd tier state university town.

... except that they have a make believe back story about being refugees or some bullshit, so they get pieces made about them on All Things Considered, etc

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 6:54 PM

phish, mixed with monotonix

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 8:13 PM

Knee pads.

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 9:36 PM

theyre just playing party music, who cares where theyre from.

Posted by Anonymous | December 28, 2009 10:35 PM

they've made it such a huge fucking deal that they're refugees, kind of sucks that they made it up

Posted by Anonymous | December 29, 2009 12:03 AM

would love too see this "proof" they made it up - show tonight killed

Posted by Anonymous | December 29, 2009 1:13 AM

apparently Gogol Bordello fans are so naive that they've never heard of MARKETING.

When you create a product that is nearly identical to 100's of products that are already out on market, you gotta come up with a backstory to brand your thing different than your competitors. Think Haagen Daz ice cream or Grey Poupon.

Sometime in the late 90's some former ska band guys and Phish fans in Burlington Vermont got together with their friend who's parents are post-Soviet immigrants (not an especially unusual background in the US these days) and created a rowdy punky party band with "we're gypsies" as the theme. Later on they added "we're all political refugees" to the story.

At the time their biggest rival band was The World/Inferno Friendship Society. You know the guys who mix ska and goth and try to look like cabaret performers from the Wiemar Republic? That should set off some red flags for what kind of stage bullshit Gogol Bordello's back story is.

Get over it kids, they're just characters!

Posted by Anonymous | December 29, 2009 11:38 AM

i think all you haters should continue to act like experts on shit you don't know, it's so convincing. you just seem so intelligent and cultured, i think everyone is almost starting to believe you. can i get a bio on grizzly bear next?

Posted by Anonymous | December 29, 2009 11:52 AM

Why are you so mad at their success?? How painful must their lifes be to be considered legit?

Probably all rockers create a character for their music. The Beatles did it. Bob Dylan did it. Of course Ozzy Osbourne did it. Those characters are loosely based on their personalities and strenghten what they want to look like to their audiences.

Do you really think that every rock musician is off stage the same as on stage??

Also, GB are some of the nicest people I've met offstage. They are truly humbled by their success.

Finally, what should a band do in order to qualify as immigrant? Should someone audit them?

Posted by Anonymous | December 29, 2009 12:03 PM

what you shouldn't do is lie about your background to make your unremarkable band seem more interesting.

Posted by Anonymous | December 29, 2009 12:20 PM

Gogol Bordello's publicist is FREAKING OUT!

Posted by Anonymous | December 29, 2009 12:22 PM

Apparently Grizzly Bear fans are so naive that they've never heard of MARKETING.

Sometime in the early 00's some MIT alums got together with Jeff Lynne of ELO to create the world's first automated musical composition robot ("E-DROSTE"). E-DROSTE's initial experimental leanings clashed with Lynne's pop sensibilities, and the project was scrapped just as soon as it began. Abandoned but still operational, E-DROSTE would operate under the pseudonym Grizzly Bear to distance himself (or itself) from his embarrassing origins.

Rooting through a local junkyard one morning (as he was wont to do), a young Daniel Rossen salvaged the machine and set to work repairing it. His skin-grafting friend Chris Taylor grafted skin onto the robot, and before long, they began collaborating with this mechanical prodigy. Undoubtedly, the band's best compositions have been written by this machine...and they don't want you to know it!

Their inclusion on the Twilight soundtrack should call attention to the frayed wiring under the band's skin-like facade. You people are all suckers for believing this band is anything more than three opportunists harnessing the bastard robot of Jeff Lynne. Get a clue people!!

Posted by the truth | December 29, 2009 12:28 PM

ok, it's one thing to pretend to be "a bizarre freak" (Ozzy) or "wacky but clean cut guys" (early Beatles), ands it's quite another to make your back story "we lived super hard lives and are political refugees." That's a bit crass, and insulting to actual political refugees who lived actually super hard lives.

particularly when your band isn't that great.

Posted by Anonymous | December 29, 2009 12:28 PM

is grizzly bear supposed to be the opposite of what gogol bordello is? I don't really get it. both of those bands are overrated and hype-y

I do know this about grizzly bear, aside form the fact that they make me sleepy... they're actually the people they claim to be!

Posted by Anonymous | December 29, 2009 12:32 PM

anyone know the setlist from last night?

Posted by Anonymous | December 29, 2009 12:38 PM

where is this phish comparison coming from? just b/c the one dude is from vermont?
They sound nothing like phish

Posted by Anonymous | December 29, 2009 12:58 PM

phish is just funny to throw in there. there are from vermont, after all

Posted by Anonymous | December 29, 2009 1:13 PM

dude's adidas kicks are too clean to give off that dirty, immigrant gypsy vibe. unless they were stolen, then it's legit.

Posted by Anonymous | December 29, 2009 1:35 PM

Gogol Bordello background story is full of shit.

If you don't like their music, they're actually not that good. Their energy is great but the songwriting skills leave a lot to be desired. There are lots of uninteresting cliches, strange combinations, sudden changes in style, lack of good cohesive direction, lousy hooks... I think them flirting with the whole Latin thing (Manu Chao and all that Spanish rap) might bring them a whole new audience. Good for their income but I think it's a cop out cause he can't write better songs.

Traditional Russian style (bundling Ukraine here) songs like bard are more about lyrics and less about music. They were repressed for a long time and could only speak in double meaning lyrics and they had little exposure to other music. That had an effect and it still does. He sounds a lot like most things that came out of old USSR. But Viktor Tsoi could write some music, too.

Check out Kultur Shock from Seattle for an ex Yugoslavia version (Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia) that does not pretend to be gypsy and has better music chops!

Bottom line is: if you do like Gogol Bordello music, they are great. I saw hundreds of people there last night who love them and you just can't argue with that! For my money "Forro in the Dark" were much much better. I didn't know any songs and yet I jumped in, singing in Spanish, which I don't speak. The only words I got from GB are tra-la-la and "Alcohol". Another Russian cliche!

Nublu Wednesdays, here I come!

Posted by Anonymous | December 29, 2009 3:03 PM

what time did they start last night?

Posted by Anonymous | December 29, 2009 3:07 PM

They started around 9.

Posted by Anonymous | December 29, 2009 3:33 PM

fuck these clowns

Posted by Anonymous | January 2, 2010 4:24 PM

Gogol Bordello are fucking awesome. Good to see them with Gibby. To all the Gogol detractors, eat my excrement. Go and listen to The Strokes, Gaylords.

Posted by Capsar | January 4, 2010 9:54 PM

gogol bordello second stage bonaroo material.

solid mediocrity with a two dimensional backstory.

Posted by Anonymous | January 4, 2010 10:35 PM

why are you fans of this band hostile to someone telling you the truth about them?

it's a fact, they aren't really immigrants.

if you really think their music is great on it's own, why does it matter?

Posted by Anonymous | January 5, 2010 4:28 PM

.........

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Posted by Anonymous | January 8, 2010 1:01 AM

Eugene Hutz is an immigrant, whether you like GB's music or not. I don't know why anyone would want to split hairs over whether his life in Europe was hard enough to give him credibility as a gypsy musician.

I saw GB live for the first time a few months ago and was impressed by the energy and the spectacle, if not the songwriting. All in all, I think they are a touch overrated by those who claim they are one of the top 25 live acts in the world. But they are still 5,000 times better than the Strokes.

Posted by Elvis Hitler | January 19, 2010 3:36 PM

What's wrong with hippies from Vermont?

Posted by anon | January 22, 2010 11:38 PM

phish is just funny to throw in there. there are from vermont, after all

Posted by شات اللوبي | February 6, 2010 2:21 PM

Not authentically "immigrants"? Is there a band that better describes the term "world music," drawing from such a diverse set of cultural backgrounds?

Being a musician myself, who sees a very wide sampling of music, it is my opinion that Gogol Bordello is the best live act in the world at present (supplanting Radiohead ....who has fallen off a bit over the past few years).

My experience is that those who are critical of GB are folks who are comfortable offering shallow opinions ...never having taken the time to fully "grok" the music. I don't think anybody who hasn't listened to the last two records at least 3 or 4 times and spent one night in the thick of the scrum should bother voicing their uninformed view. Personally, I don't know anybody who has done the aforementioned and wasn't completely won over in the end...many of whom had a predisposition to disliking this band for some reason.

Posted by DiB | February 8, 2010 12:10 PM

I don't understand why anyone would care if they were immigrants or not immigrants. Not only that, but why waste your time? They are fun musicians, maybe not the best lyricists or the best musicians, but they are fun musicians nonetheless.
If you believe they're pulling an immigrant "shtick" for marketing, then thats great. But I know many immigrants that come from other countries that have been here in the states for years and you know what! They still act as if they live in their mother country. SO WHO GIVES A FLYING FUCK if Eugene Hutz and the rest of them live in Vermont or New York or fucking Alabama. They most likely found people from their other countries and continued their traditions. You do not know what there living situations were back in their countries or here in the United States. Just because your saved from the terror or boredom from back home, it doesn't mean that America is going to save you from the sadness of leaving it.
And Gogol Bordello is fantastic live. They bring an elation that permeates thru their live shows and I'm glad that there are bands like this one who want to make their audience have fun.

Posted by Mo | February 10, 2010 2:06 PM

this band represents the power of the soul

Posted by toast | February 16, 2010 12:21 PM

big ole yawn for these clowns

Posted by iPhoneÖtzi | February 18, 2010 12:58 PM

year so dum 5:55 and 84:02 and 48 hours with eddie murphy

Posted by Anonymous | February 18, 2010 6:06 PM

??????¿¿¿¿¿¿

Posted by toast | February 23, 2010 12:49 PM

Gogol is nothing but good times. If you don't dig it, move along.

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