ACL Live Shots
Reviewed by Marc Savlov, Fri., Oct. 15, 2010
Gogol BordelloZilker Park, Oct. 9
Talk about trans-European hustles. From the opening squawk and squall of Ukrainian expat Eugene Hütz's gypsy guitar antiheroics to the revolutionary strings of gray-beard fiddle-king Sergey Ryabtsev's blurring bow and blazing bout, Gogol Bordello's überinclusive, pan-global prepunk united beat freaks of all (or no) nations under one colorfully chaotic banner. Rarely do you get the opportunity to see both the Ukrainian flag and Texas flag entwined and backlit by a perfect sunset, but if not during sensually loping opener "Tribal Connection," when else? Granted, Hütz and stage-front co-conspirators Pedro Erazo and Elizabeth Sun could play the New York City phone directory and make it a spectacle of post-Soviet proportions, but this gig was all about solidarnosc with an audience that knew every lyrical twist and gritty gyration and matched the band to the extent a mosh pit allows. Seething, antic versions of live-show staples "Not a Crime," "Let's Get Radical," and "Wonderlust King" melded with fresh rabble-rousers "My Compañera" and the lusty "Pala Tute." Gogol Bordello's intensely physical rapport with its audiences is no secret, but hearing 10,000 fervent voices carrying the melody to set standout "Start Wearing Purple" is a thing of tattered, glorious beauty.