Tag Archives: Gogol Bordello

Riot Fest 2021: Be Safe Out There

So this is what it’s like attending a big music festival during a global pandemic, huh? Cool.

Big thanks to the 385,000 guinea pigs who attended Lollapalooza this year and proved that you can go to a huge, multi-day outdoor party without becoming part of a superspreader event…as long as you are required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result.

I’ll admit that I had been dubious that Riot Fest was going to happen this year, especially after seeing those photos of the tightly packed, maskless hordes in Grant Park. But health officials only found 203 cases connected to Lollapa. Nothing unexpected. So yay!

That good news did not prevent several bands on the original lineup from pulling out of Riot Fest including My Chemical Romance, Nine Inch Nails, Pixies, Dinosaur Jr, PUP, Holy Fawn, White Lung, Skating Polly, Faith No More, and Mr. Bungle. You might think that losing several big-name headliners and support groups would tank a music festival.

But Riot Fest is scrappy. And agile!

They were able to add a bunch of replacements at the last minute. It’s hard to imagine a corporately owned event being this quick on its feet, but independent Riot Fest can get shit done. They added Skipknot, Flaming Lips, Rise Against, Anthrax, Body Count, Pinegrove, Envy on the Coast, Action/Adventure, and Clockworks. Not only that but they tacked on a bonus Thursday with Morrissey, Patti Smith, Alkaline Trio, Joyce Manor, WDRL, and Kristeen Young.

Continue reading Riot Fest 2021: Be Safe Out There

New Gogol Bordello video: Seekers and Finders (ft. Regina Spektor)

Video: Gogol Bordello (Feat. Regina Spektor) – Seekers & Finders

Gogol Bordello (Feat. Regina Spektor) - Seekers & Finders - Official Video

Directed by Nate Pommer. From Seekers & Finders, out now on Cooking Vinyl.

Eugene Hütz and Regina Spektor are two of the most charismatic performers working today. If you’ve seen them in concert you know you can’t take your eyes off them. And now they’ve made a video for the song they recorded together.

Director Nate Pommer says, “The live footage was shot at The Fonda Theater on March 5th, 2018; an especially epic bonanza-tronic show featuring the transcendent Regina Spektor. Footage of the performance was combined with a series of curated images related to Alchemy, Hermeticism, and esoteric knowledge. The message is open to interpretation, but we can agree that understanding ‘The Ultimate Truth’ requires a set of tools more powerful than reason or intellect.”

I don’t know anything about the ultimate truth, but I know I would’ve like to have been at the Fonda Theater on March 5!

Gogol Bordello: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Regina Spektor: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Riot Fest 2017: No Dicks on the Dancefloor

Riot Fest once again proved itself to be the music fest for grownups. Grownups in black t-shirts.

While all the other big festivals rotate the same dozen headliners, it’s great that Riot Fest has retained its punk rock focus. Maybe not as strictly as during its first several years as a multi-venue festival, but most of the performers still fall somewhere along the punk rock spectrum. And even the ones who don’t play distorted guitars could be said to have a punk rock attitude. Gotta respect that.

Riot Fest sometimes gets accused of cashing in on nostalgia. Sure, a lot of the bands peaked 20 or 30 years ago (or more). But the fact that they’re still around and kicking ass is a testament not only to their survival but to our own. We should all hope we age as gracefully as the most of these artists (Al Jourgensen excepted).

Headliners this year were Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, and a reunited Jawbreaker, playing their first full show in 21 years (other than a couple warm up gigs around San Francisco last month). The headliners get the big font on the poster, but fest diehards know that the undercard is always where the action is.

It was hot and sunny when we got to the park on Friday. You never know what you’re going to get in September in Chicago, but you can usually count on at least some rain. The line to get in was down the block and security was being thorough. I heard one guy complaining that they had opened his cardboard cigarette case the wrong way and wrecked it. A woman behind me was worried she was going to miss X, who she had last seen in 1983 with the Replacements opening up for them! Don’t worry, she made it in with time to spare.

Continue reading Riot Fest 2017: No Dicks on the Dancefloor

New Gogol Bordello video: Walking On The Burning Coal

Video: Gogol Bordello – “Walking On The Burning Coal”

Gogol Bordello - Walking On The Burning Coal (Official Lyric Video)

From Seekers and Finders, out August 25 on Cooking Vinyl.

Gogol Bordello’s Eugene Hütz told Consequence of Sound: “The theme here is a Rite of Passage, or rather its absence of it in our society… However, it is still necessary. So, it’s about putting yourself through a test and demolition of ego where the soul matures. As you know, generally speaking people divide themselves into young and old souls, but how do they get there? By simply aging or mindlessly clicking like-no like buttons? Fuck no. By using their free will and focus to accumulate necessary experience… a pass into a more composed state, if u will…”

I will.

Gogol Bordello plays Riot Fest at 6:35 PM on Saturday, September 16.

Gogol Bordello: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Photos: Gogol Bordello at Lollapalooza 2015

Gogol Bordello is a fun, fun band. It’s impossible to not get wrapped up in their enthusiasm. They played Lollapalooza in 2010 and my college-age cousin who was staying with us and watching our kid that summer highly recommended them. But like most grouchy older dudes, I stupidly dismissed the opinions of a young girl. But I ended up catching the last 15 minutes of their set that year which was enough to convince me that 1) Gogol Bordello is a hell of a band, and 2) young girls are way cooler than grouchy old dudes. I’m learning. It’s a process.

So this year they were near the top of my “must see” list. And they delivered. What a show. Frontman Eugene Hütz crashed onto the stage chugging and spilling a bottle of red wine, his guitar flailing around his body on the world’s flimsiest strap, and he sang in a thick Russian accent with conviction and charisma.

If you’re unfamiliar with their music check out their NPR Tiny Desk Concert or just download “Wanderlust King” from a BBC session.

GLONO photographer Jolie Brown got a ton of great pictures of the set. Here are some of the best.

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Continue reading Photos: Gogol Bordello at Lollapalooza 2015