The Royal Gogol Bordello

The Royal Gogol Bordello

Gogol Bordello | Royal Oak Music Theater | Royal Oak, MI

April 21, 2009

Contributing Writer & Photographer : Raymond Grubb

Thanks to ShanikaVideo at YouTube for the video!


“ All your sanity and wits they will all vanish, I promise, It’s just a matter of time.”

It’s been almost two years since my last Gogol Bordello show, and those same Gogol vibes begin to take over me as I stand in line outside the sold out Royal Oak Music Theatre in Royal Oak (Michigan), humming and tapping my feet to the songs I anticipate to hear once the party begins and Eugene Hutz and company take stage.  I usually caught Gogol shows down in Detroit, so the scenery was a little different but the people, they haven’t changed a bit.  All the unique faces were out, smiling and in full-swing, the flamboyant dressers, the punks and the old timers all conversing like family, dancing in line and chanting, “Start wearing purple, wearing purple.”  I couldn’t help but smile.  I knew where I was and what I was in for, and I was just as excited as the next fan.

Gogol first blew me away in 2005 at the Magic Stick in Detroit. I remember on the way to the show, I felt a bit confused and left out because everyone seemed as happy and giddy as little children on Christmas Eve.

I soon found out why.

Going to a Gogol show is not really comparable to any other show or any other genre of show for that matter; these cats are in a league of their own.  They smuggled that Gypsy punk/funk Eastern European “dance your ass off music” into New York in 99’ and they haven’t stopped since, mixing the gypsy sound with almost every known genre, bringing that rebellious vibe everywhere they go.  The pure energy put out by the band and front man Eugene Hutz is contagious, sparking mosh pits at every show I’ve attended, encouraging through sound, all the “wallflowers” to get off their asses and enjoy themselves.  After all that’s what going to a show is all about.


Article Continues After The Jump/Photos!

On the other hand, Gogol is not all fun and games. Some songs, although they may make you dance like never before, carry serious messages about humanity, history, and politics, speaking out against the bourgeois lifestyle and corrupt governments and preaching love and understanding, tolerance and change.  Heavily influenced by Nikolai Gogol, one of the most famous Russian/Ukrainian writers (hence the name Gogol Bordello), they intend on spreading a message and influencing a culture.  They have succeeded thus far.

They have claimed millions of fans in America and millions more world-wide, touring every chance they get just to gain another fan and stay close to the ones they have: to stay real, to stay “un-corrupted” by that ugly hand that taints so many others in their industry.

If you plan on attending a Gogol show, which I highly recommend, plan on dancing, hearing a unique sound like no other.  Plan on being encouraged to drink heavily and smile about it.  Plan on an overall good time incomparable to any other. Last but not least, I wouldn’t plan on wearing your nicest clothes since they’ll probably end up soaked in your own sweat.

Gogol Bordello is signed to SideOneDummy Records and released their newest album Transcontinental Hustle on April 27 10’.  They have made their way into the festival circuit, the film world and tour constantly; Luckily, I think I’ll have the pleasure of catching many more amazing Gogol shows in the future.