Roskilde reviews!

Orange Scene, Roskilde Festival 
Saturday d. 04-07-2009 

The soundtrack of the Roskilde summer party was gypsy punk

These days, it seems as if it is not only between the audiences, that you can find crazy, performing characters. They have now managed to sneak their way up on the Orange Stage. Following the mandatory hip hop cancellation (this year Lil’ Wayne), Roskilde Festival had hired Gogol Bordello – a move which should turn out to be victorious.

With the New York immigrants’ musical Molotov cocktail of punk and Balkan-folk, Eugene Hütz and co. managed to firmly chisel their names into the Roskilde Festival chronicles. Even if the concert itself probably was the most colourful and the most lyrically incomprehensible seen on Orange Stage since Manu Chao in 2002, Gogol Bordello managed to set fire to an otherwise lethargic and exhausted audience in the most magical of ways. 

To say that front man Eugene Hütz is a bundle of energy is something of an understatement, as the man quite clearly eats Duracell batteries with schnapps for breakfast. With him as the whip, the scene was set for a party that had such an intense energy level you could not even cram a piece of Rizla paper in-between songs.

Like a targeted machinegun, the gypsy army spat out its electrifying songs from the edge of the stage, forcing every passersby to join the party. And thus the concert might end up becoming the most visited of every concert, despite the audience’s limited knowledge of the band.

To be honest, it is not every day you see musicians work this hard for a living and Hütz could, well-deserved, bathe himself in the showers of ecstatic victory and did, quite literally, cool his sweating body down with the help of a bottle of red wine during the final song. Even though Roskilde Festival never has been a fan of booking the same band two years in a row, perhaps it would be a good idea for Esben Danielsen (Roskilde Festival spokesman) and co. to make these polka punks their very own household name. 

Artist: Gogol Bordello
Where: Orange, Roskilde Festival
Date: Saturday 4th July 

I believe it is called a blessing in disguise, because wow, what a party! It is unlikely that anyone standing in front of Orange Stage was mourning the cancellation of Lil’ Wayne after having seen gypsy punks Gogol Bordello set off a full-blown cancellation fest.

From the very beginning, the multi-ethnic New York-ensemble exploded in a in a hyper-energetic show and a musical inferno. A global bunch where a heavy drum beat, a vehemently thrusting guitar, a groovy Balkan bass line, a twanging mandolin and last but not least an insanely tearing violin meet up in edgy, confrontational and captivating melodies. Meanwhile, the charismatic Eugene Hütz and his partners in crime raced around the stage like madmen and even in the oppressive heat of the summer, standing still was an impossibility. In fact, I do believe the earth beneath us rocked when both the band and the audience launched into the hit song, ‘Start Wearing Purple’

It was a true display of the joys of performing live and a jumble of Eastern European folk music and aggressive punk rock. It is the mixture of phantasmagoria and anarchy that Gogol Bordello is able to bind safely together in the most amazing way; a mixture that both makes more than sense and which also produces a serious case of the dance fever. It was an enormous experience. I thank you!


Thanks to Laura Claudia Tomasi for the translations!