TVD Live Shots:
Gogol Bordello and Jessica Hernandez at
the Warfield, 11/25

As 2015 comes to a close I think I might have just seen the most intensely original, high energy spectacle of the year.

They’re called Gogol Bordello and they are a Gypsy punk band from the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Known for theatrical stage shows, persistent touring, and high energy performances they hit the jam-packed Warfield with what seemed to be a full on revolution. Even though this band of gypsies have been around since 1999, it was the first time I have seen them live and I can tell you that they absolutely live up to the hype, maybe even over-delivering if that’s even possible.

Imagine the Gypsy Kings crossed with the Sex Pistols. Add some brilliant storytelling masterfully delivered in song and backed by what could easily be confused for a Cirque Du Soleil show in the wild, and you can begin to imagine what I witnessed last week. The only thing missing at this show was a full on revolution—and that didn’t seem far off.

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Led by Ukrainian-born singer-songwriter Eugene Hütz, Gogol Bordello has recorded six albums with the latest, the critically acclaimed Pure Vida Conspiracy, released in July of 2013. Hütz’s journey to the United States is a fascinating story that started in Boyarka, Ukraine and continued through Poland, Hungary, Austria, and Italy.

Descendants of gypsies called the Servo Roma (a tribe known for its blacksmiths, horsetraders, and musicians), Hütz and his family fled their hometown after hearing of the Chernobyl meltdown. He arrived in Vermont in 1992 as a political refugee through a resettlement program with his mother, father, and cousin Yosef. If that doesn’t set the stage for one hell of a composer, I don’t know what could.

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If you’ve never seen this band before and you are a fan of artists who bend genres into something truly novel, then don’t miss this show. I couldn’t find any news of a new record coming anytime soon, but Pure Vida Conspiracy is a remarkable album that would benefit almost any record collection.

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Opening act Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas were brilliant, by the way. This girl had one hell of a fucking voice and a sort of Johnny Rotten snarl to her performance that fits the bill nicely. She kind of reminds me of a pissed off Nicole Atkins, and that’s a good thing. I hadn’t heard of her before this show but her new record Secret Evil is spectacular.

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JESSICA HERNANDEZ AND THE DELTAS

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Bottom line: Is this review overly positive? Yes, and for good reason. Do yourself a favor and go see both of these artists for yourself.

Check out hi-res images in the gallery here.

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