Gogol Bordello brings its very eclectic form of “gypsy punk”(?) to Tempe in support of new album Solidaritine

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It’s true that there’s a first time for everything in life. To that end, I can honestly say that in nearly four decades of listening to music and a decade of writing and reporting on it, I’ve never heard the label “gypsy punk”— ever.

That is, until I heard the music of Gogol Bordello. Interestingly, the first time I heard the band’s name I had no idea that I had seen their frontman Eugene Hutz several years before— onstage with none other than Madonna. More on that later.

The seven-piece multi-cultural, multi-instrumental band recently released their eighth full-length studio album Solidaritine, an album that was created with “zero challenges”, according to Hutz in a quick phone chat I had with him recently.

“With everything going on in the world today— the war in (Hutz’s home country) Ukraine, the pandemic— there was plenty to write about”, Hutz said. “In many ways, our music has always been about perseverance and resilience, and this record was no exception in that regard.”

Gogol Bordello has been a band (with multiple incarnations) for 23 years. I asked Hutz what the early years were like for him as a young musician in New York during the late 1990s. That was a time when he cut his teeth on punk.

“Yeah, New York City then was incredible. There really isn’t a better

place to be when it comes to the arts in general. There’s so much to do, so many bands to see, great places to eat, and a community that’s really unmatched when it comes to support.”, Hutz recalled fondly.

“But punk definitely was my go-to music growing up. Bands like Gorilla Biscuits and Quicksand come to mind when I was in NYC at the time.”

Make no mistake though: it’s too easy to say that Gogol Bordello is strictly a punk band. There’s far more diversity to their music than that. However, Hutz has no problem with it.

“The way I see it, it’s all semantics”, Hutz stated.”I think it was Elvis Costello who said that talking about music is like singing about architecture. It makes no sense”, he added with a laugh.

It’s been said that Gogol Bordello is a band that must be seen live to really appreciate them. While they rightly don’t shy away from social commentary in their music, that doesn’t mean their shows aren’t fun. To that end, I asked Hutz what the fans can expect at their upcoming show this Tues. Nov. 1 at Marquee Theatre.

“High energy, great musicianship, and a great time. We can’t wait to play Arizona.”

Gogol Bordello w/ special guest Crazy & The Brains are scheduled to play on Tues. Nov. 1 at Marquee Theatre. Tickets are $32 and available at luckymanonline.com or the Marquee box office.

Editor Note: I saw Crazy & The Brains before and they put on a really fun show.  I am sure you will enjoy this great concert.

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