Gogol Bordello‘s return to Southern California had been long-awaited as soon as The Solidaritine tour was announced. Their first stop in our neck of the woods was San Diego’s Observatory North Park where the band had the audience in the palm of their hand, taking them on a sweeping journey through Gogol’s catalogue, including songs off Solidaritine, and all the classics ranging from Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike. It doesn’t feel like it but Gogol Bordello has been around for over two decades, spreading inclusivity through punk rock. Although originally constructed as a blend of Eastern European culture and punk, the band expanded to involve various forms of world music to make a truly gypsy vision. Those that experience a Gogol show come away with a more worldly sensibility. Eugene Hutz’s Ukrainian roots were never diluted upon the band’s expansion. With Ukraine under Russian attack in this hideous situation, the many stops and long performances of this tour are all an effort to support Ukraine and Eugene’s fellow countrymen. You could tell the band was going extra hard because you could feel lives hung in the balance of this musical effort. We got photos from their Observatory North Park show and these make it clear, Eugene and company were in rare form.
Photos by: Rebecca DiGiglio