“I quickly turned to my friend who I dragged along to this night of unexpected bizarreness, gasping and doing my best to describe just how bananas this next band was, and how the lead singer thinks he’s a sea captain and is slightly frightening. We screamed in excitement as girls on a night out on the town ”
“I quickly turned to my friend who I dragged along to this night of unexpected bizarreness, gasping and doing my best to describe just how bananas this next band was, and how the lead singer thinks he’s a sea captain and is slightly frightening. We screamed in excitement as girls on a night out on the town “
Gogol Bordello & Throw Rag & Scotch Greens Paradiso, 8/12/05
The first opening act was the Scotch Greens from Idaho. I really don’t think I’ve ever seen or met a person from Idaho before. Country, rockabilly farmers who seemed to be very nice lads and after the show they passed out a promo CD single. So they got bonus points for being a hard working band on their first European Tour.
The stage was getting set up for the arrival of the next band. The Guitar amp was a vision… a brand spanking new crate valve amp with like at least 10 glistening glowing orange tubes showing through the metal caging. As the banner from the Scotch Greens was removed I saw something familiar and I quickly realized that I had in fact seen this band before. In NYC, I think they opened for Gogol Bordello at the Mercury Lounge show that I saw in 2001.
I quickly turned to my friend who I dragged along to this night of unexpected bizarreness, gasping and doing my best to describe just how bananas this next band was, and how the lead singer thinks he’s a sea captain and is slightly frightening. We screamed in excitement as girls on a night out on the town do.
What strolled on stage moments later was four full grown weather tattooed Californian men and they were exactly how I had remembered them. Many of you may be asking how on earth do I have such a good memory, well this band is impossible to forget and here’s why…
Throw Rag produces sleazy, burlesque California pop rock n’ roll. Lead singer Captain Sean Doe gets naked and harasses women and men in the audience. He tormented the one “punk rock kid” in the audience, a kid who sported an official punk-rock rainbow Mohawk that stood at least 20 cm in height. He did get his 10 seconds of stardom, as Captain Sean Doe was nice enough to allow him to scream into the mic during one of their song. I honestly couldn’t tell you any of the songs names because they all sounded the same. They put on a fantastic stage show and I was literally frightened to take my eyes off The Captain since you never knew what he might do or take off next.
Last Image: Captain Sean Doe is nearly naked, he is wearing vinyl underpants, he does a butt cheek squeeze dance for the audience as goodbye, the underwear actually have a mesh air strip down the crack to avoid unnecessary chaffing from sweat I imagine. Genius.
Check them out: I dare you!!! www.throwrag.com
Gypsy music is blaring over the speakers, fresh beers and we are ready for the night’s headlining act Gogol Bordello from NYC. I’ve seen them before as I told you earlier, and I vividly remembered it being one of the most unique concerts of my life.
Out struts Eugene Hutz wearing his famous Mustache and the rest of this very talented troop. Homemade costumes, props and guest staring tall, thin gypsy women, this band means rock’n’roll business. The show was fantastic and yes, just how I remembered it. I couldn’t help but stare in awe at Hutz toned abs as the man has an incredibly lean physique. It must be from all that jumping around and high knee dancing and kicking and such.
The group is a real mix of characters and included the amazing Sergei Riabtsev on fiddle. The rest of the guys were gypsy riff-raff mutts with ancestry from all over Eastern Europe. The song highlights for me were Start Wearing Purple and a song that just included a screaming chorus. The screaming chorus song guest stared a flexible Slavic-track star-housekeeper who screamed into the mic and then bent over backwards fainting. My friend also got her go at ‘the scream’ as Hutz passed the mic around the room.
It was a lavish gypsy puck circus. I think at times it distracts from the music and lyrics, which are also quite good. Their music is all over the place, Turkish, Slavic, Middle Eastern, Dancehall and Disco. During the encore, Hutz got up on a large drum and was suspended over the audience for a few horrifying seconds.
Hard working bands, hard at work, something that we honestly rarely see. Gogol Bordello puts on one of the best live performances of any band that I have ever seen. I look forwarded to seeing them again as they said they might be back in spring. This time I’m inviting everyone I know and insist on drinking vodka and taking the next day off work.
You can see Eugene Hutz and the whole gang from Gogol Bordello is in the upcoming movie Everything is illuminated.
Words: Zoe E. Gottehrer