(from the Gogol Bordello show, December 19, 2005, Bucovina Club, Frankfurt am Main)
They showed up in town with no warning. Even the woman at the ticket counter wasn’t sure who was playing. Inside, they stirred the crowd into a frenzy with the bow of a fiddle, and then they were gone, the ashes of a bonfire, a broken bottle of moonshine, and a few crumpled, rustling set lists the only evidence that they had been there at all.
Gogol Bordello and their gypsy punk revolution and their Nordic-ly tall bass drummer and their old gray-haired fiddler showed up in Frankfurt on Thursday. It wasn’t exactly unannounced, but it wasn’t exactly advertised either. The Gogol site mentioned a Frankfurt date, but never bothered to say where. The Bucovina Club site said there would be a show, but they never bothered to say who would be playing. And still the damn thing was sold out before we even arrived. But that doesn’t stop an American and a Bulgarian from getting inside.
At first Maria and I just settled into a bench and a beer, hoping that a few of the reserved ticket holders wouldn’t show up, but other scavengers were starting to gather so I said, hey, let’s go talk to some people, see if we can’t finds some tickets, or the back door.
Turns out that we didn’t need to find the back door. Turns out that at the Bucovina Club, the front door works just as well as the back door for sneaking into concerts. And we didn’t even mean to sneak in. It was just that I had drank two beers and had to pee, and the bathroom was inside. So we went in and when we came out of the bathroom, this guy came up to us and was like, excuse me, you just came in without paying. Oh, we just wanted to use the bathroom, I told him, I’m so sorry, really, we didn’t mean to sneak in, oh we’re sorry, should we leave?
After talking to him for a few minutes and singing our sad ticket-less plight, he had a conversation with his boss, and we came to an agreement. We would pay him a little bribe, 10 euros each, and he would let us stay. And really. I’d like to take a moment of silence to appreciate the fact that two days ago I bribed someone in order to see a bunch of crazy gypsies playing accordions and fiddles and fire buckets. It made the show even better, because it was no longer just a show, it was another improbable adventure.
We bought beer, pushed our way to the front of the crowd, and danced and danced and danced. And then Eugene Hütz had my face in his hands and was fucking singing, singing to me. Imagine it. The shirtless eastern European man in tight black pants with one of those jingly silver-spangled shawls wrapped around his waist and the most ridiculous handlebar mustache on any side of any ocean, just reaches down from the stage and starts caressing your face. And some people think a sold out show is a reason to go home disappointed.
Set List (You know you were curious.)
1. Immy Punk
3. Never Young
4. Not a Crime
5. Purple (Long Intro)
6. East Infection
7. Mussolini Vs Stalin
8. Dogs Were Barking
9. Bulo Bulo
11. Think Locally
12. Underdog World
Punk Rock Paranda