Our managing editor Maddie Walters gives a concert preview of Gogol Bordello ahead of their Cain’s Ballroom show coming up on Oct. 26.
“For me, punk rock was always about the Woody Guthrie-ness and work ethic: ‘all your fascists are bound to lose!’ It’s music of pure impact with that experience driven intellectual insight into class struggle that comes only with working class territory without the bullshit or pseudo-masculinity,” says Eugene Hutz, vocalist and guitar player of Gogol Bordello, a punk and self-described Gypsy-swing band.
Gogol Bordello is a New York based collective comprised of Eugene Hutz (vocals, guitar), Sergey Ryabtsev (violin), Pedro Erazo (vocals, percussion), Boris Pelekh (guitar), Ashley Tobias (vocals), Korey Kingston (drums) and Gil Alexandre (bass). Formed in 1999, Gogol Bordello has wowed audiences with their raucous energy and spirit. This group of seven friends are linked by the shared experience of immigrant traumas and dislocation due to war and disasters with members coming from Ecuador, Ukraine and Russia.
Hutz has seen more than his fair share of tragedy, having been an evacuee from Chernobyl at only the age of 13 and now witnessing the war in his homeland of Ukraine. Gogol Bordello’s newest album “Solidaritine,” is about the spirit of resilience in the face of extreme adversity and though it was written before the war in Ukraine escalated, it still captures the essence of empathy, bravery and hope Ukrainians have maintained since the onset of the war.
“If you go to Ukraine now, people are fighting with integrity, heroism, and, believe it or not, humor too,” Hutz proudly says.“Despite anything, the Ukrainian people somehow just find a way to rise above these atrocities.”
With lyrics like “What is this fire that’s binding us all? Disentanglement Baby,” the single Forces of Victory is a morale boost to those who are fighting the war, featuring Ukrainian Nobel prize nominee poet and singer Serhiy Zhadan and electrofolk Ukrainian artists Kazka. At their heart, Gogol Bordello is a band about community and the shared experience of being human.
This fall, Gogol Bordello embark on their North American tour in support of “Solidaritine.” In fact, on Oct. 26, they will be making a stop right here in Tulsa at the historic Cain’s Ballroom for a show that’s sure to be a tour de force of emotions and impressive musicianship. This isn’t the first time the band has made a stop in Tulsa, and it certainly won’t be the last. Crazy & The Brains will join Gogol Bordello for this outing, tying together what looks to be a must-see show.
Tickets are still available and can be purchased on Cain’s Ballroom’s website or at the box office during open hours, though it looks like the show will be a sell-out. Check back in after the concert for a photo gallery and an interview with the band. You can also visit our Instagram (@tucollegian) to enter to win a pair of tickets for the show. The deadline to enter is on Oct. 24, and a winner will be randomly chosen that night.