GOGOL BORDELLO Wow’d The Crowd at The Bourbon

Gogol Bordello at The Bourbon in Lincoln, NE. Photo credit: Dean Birkheimer

Bourbon Theater – Lincoln, NE
October 28th, 2017

It was cold night in Lincoln, Nebraska, but inside the Bourbon Theater Lucky Chops was about to turn up the heat.  Originating in NYC and much like one of my favorite bands “Moon Hooch” their teeth were cut in the NYC subway system.  They are a five member band who met at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Performing Arts.  Aka, the high school that the show and movie “Fame” was based on.  The band consists of Josh Holcomb (Trombone), Daro Behroozi (Tenor Sax), Joshua Gawel (Trumpet), Charles Sams (Drums) and Raphael Buyo (Tuba).  They all performed with incredible style, preposterous musicianship and enough energy to blow the roof off the Bourbon.  I was down front in the photo pit and my job was to shoot the band for the first three songs.  After the first song, “Helter Skelter”, I found myself neglecting my duties and fist pumping and bouncing to the 2nd selection, “Walter Jam”  As difficult as it was, I was able to gather myself and get a few shots in during the third song which was “Stand”.   I wanted to stay up front, but there was absolutely no room. I found myself in the upper deck of theater.  The view from there was actually perfect.  I could see the entire band and was impressed with their showmanship.  After “These Tears” and “Danza” the band offered “Temple of Boom”.  Oh my Lord, what a great song.  It really is an amazing piece of music.  If you get a chance, check out the 8 bit video to it.   We were then treated to  “Ska Ba”, “Coco” and “Without You”.  Then came their final selection of the evening.  “Funky Town”.  Yep, the “Won’t you take me to…Funky Town by Lipps Inc”.  Needless to say, this version was a little different.  This is the song that was uploaded to You Tube by a tourist, who stumbled across them in the NYC Subway.  It’s been nothing but notoriety since then.  The past year or so has been filled with constant touring with major artists and selling out shows of their own.  In short, Lucky Chops kicks brass.  Check out their EP “Walter” and if you can see them live, please do so.

Hey, wadda know, another band from NYC.  I’m sure you already know this, but Gogol Bordello is an American Gypsy Punk Band who are known for their theatrical performances.  This was my 2nd time shooting this band, first time was at the Slowdown on Nov 25th 2016.  So almost a year later, they returned, but this time to Lincoln, Ne.  On tour in support of their new album “Seekers and Finders” which according to front man Eugene Hütz is a “magical and playful record.”  This band creates riotous and fun music and be counted upon to leave you musically satisfied.  Fiddles flies and the accordion bellows, all of this right next to a pounding drums and ripping guitars.  The music is driven culturally and each member is also driven to be energetic and worth watching.  This requires you to watch every inch of the stage as band members weave their way through each other or even sometimes seem to appear out of nowhere.  There is some choreography involved, but it does not interfere with the music.  The crowd is with this band from beat one, continuously jumping and singing.  Each performer is memorable, whether it be the green beard of bassists Thomas Gobena or the rapid rapping of percussionist Pedro Erazo.  There was several jaw dropping moments, but none more so than when the giant marching band drum was given to the crowd to hold as Hütz climbed on board and surfed the crowd while singing.  With Gogol Bordello, you know somethings will always be true.  The wine will flow, the party will be amazing and you will leave wishing there was more to be had.

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Lucky Chops

Gogol Bordello

Photos courtesy of © 2017 Dean Birkheimer.

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