Concert Review: Gogol Bordello

This was not a show for the fainthearted, and no one there – on the stage or in the crowd – was asking or giving any quarter.

March 1, 2011 22:10
2 minute read.
machina concert 88 298

machina concert 88 298. (photo credit: Viva Sarah Press)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


There were no surprises in Gogol Bordello’s no-holds-barred first gig – of three this week – at the Barby Club in Tel Aviv on Monday evening, and absolutely no complaints either.

The place was packed to the rafters, which did not prevent the mostly twenty-something audience from jumping, grooving and swaying with great athleticism and unbridled fervor. This was not a show for the fainthearted, and no one there – on the stage or in the crowd – was asking or giving any quarter.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

The gypsy punk outfit’s frontman, Ukraine-born singer-guitarist Eugene Hütz, kept the raucous vocals coming thick and fast, strumming furiously on his acoustic guitar and taking every opportunity to arch his lean torso over the edge of the stage, above heads of the audience.

The roar as the band hit the stage was deafening for what was a long-awaited return for the eight-piece New York-based troupe after a triumphant concert at the same venue 18 months ago.

Gogol Bordello is always as much a feast for the eyes as for the ears, and all the members of the band kept their individual and collective energy levels sky high.

Old favorites like “Start Wearing Purple” had everyone jumping with blissful abandon as did new material, such as “Break the Spell” off the band’s latest CD Trans-Continental Hustle. For the latter, all the members of the audience raised their left arm and mirrored Hütz’s frenetic gesticulations.

While Hütz is the life and soul of the group, and the primary vocalist – other vocal efforts by Spanish MC-percussionist Pedro Erazo and Scottish-Chinese dancer-singer Elizabeth Sun did not add much to the mix – there were plenty of crowd-enthusing exploits by other members of the band, including Erazo, Sun and particularly grey-bearded violinist-vocalist Sergey Ryabtsev. Accordionist Yuri Lemeshev cut a curious and seemingly incongruent figure who, with his granddad specs and Chairman Mao cap, seemed better suited to entertaining kibbutzniks of old sitting around a kumsitz bonfire.


Looks notwithstanding, he reeled off some pretty smooth licks on his squeezebox.

Tonight’s show is the last of the band’s three gigs here on this tour. If you’re looking for nonstop action and volume levels patently designed to keep the rest of Tel Aviv awake, Barby is the place to be.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Sarah Silverman
August 26, 2014
Jewish women take home gold at 2014 Emmys