Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gogol Bordello at the Mayan, June 21, 2010

I am writing this review because it's impossible to write a review of a Gogol Bordello show and I just want to see if it's possible to do the impossible.
Wait ... Huh?
I don't know, don't ask me.
The my history with Gogol Bordello goes something like this:
Mid To Late 2008: I hear some crazyawesome song (Supertheory Of Supereverything) playing in a store and ask the clerk who is playing. She doesn't know how to pronounce the name but somehow manages to tell me it's Gogol Bordello anyway. I run out and buy Super Taranta, listen to it three times and, while I like the music, figure it's not something I'll listen to a lot and sell it at Amoeba.
April 2009: My mom, recently obsessed with the band, thanks to my brother and Thru The Roof 'N' Underground, asks me if I'd like to go with them to see Gogol Bordello in Ventura. I say sure, since I did like the music and figure it'll be a fun evening.
May 2009 to Today: I. Am. Obsessed!
Gogol Bordello don't know the meaning of the phrase "phone it in." ... Actually, they probably do. They're smart people. I'm sure they know exactly what it means. It's just not a philosophy they subscribe to.
You know how usually when you see a band there's one or two really energetic members and a couple more subdued members? Gogol Bordello has no subdued members. I don't know where they all get so much energy, unless it's from each other. In which case it's all contagious and that would explain how the audience seems to catch that energy, too.
Which has good points and bad points. When the show started I happened to be standing in exactly the right spot to be sucked into a mosh pit. I lasted one song there before having to push my way toward the back so I could dance like a madwoman in peace.
Gogol Bordello makes me dance like a madwoman.
And thank god they played a couple slow(ish) songs in the middle of the set, because all that dancing with no rest and no water makes a girl feel very lightheaded. So I got a little break during When Universes Collide and Thru The Roof 'N' Underground.
Not a huge break, though. I couldn't help dancing a little. And When Universes Collide made me cry for several reasons (it's my favorite song on the new album; it's a very sad song; it's an amazing buildup of music and energy that is more powerful when played live; I'd been sick all weekend; I was feeling lightheaded from all that dancing), but it was this weird sort of half sobbing, half laughing which, to my memory, I'd only experienced once before: Mike Patton singing an a capella cover of Crying in Spanish at a Peeping Tom concert.
Gogol Bordello have reached Mike Patton levels of making me emotional. That is an amazing feat.
And why shouldn't they? The fact that this band can make me dance like a madwoman and sing along at the top of my voice without regard to whether or not I sound any good (two things I ordinarily never do) must mean something.
It means they're the most powerful band in the history of time. And they earned every single one of the kisses I blew last night.
Blowing kisses. Another thing I never do.
Here's to knowing they'll use their powers for good and for awesome.

End of line.

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