May 4, 2011
(Photo credit: Vans 66)
Ever since I began listening to Gogol Bordello a little over a year ago I couldn’t wait to see them live. At first I was a little surprised to see they had once again managed to land a performance on the Main Stage, but five minutes into the show I knew why. Rather than lackadaisically lounging on the grass, everyone in the audience was on their feet despite the temperature outside being close to 100 degrees. Every member in the band displayed a sense of unbridled enthusiasm, which combined with their costumes and accordions, made me feel as if I were in the center of some wild Gypsy party rather than the dusty desert of Indio.
The audience was chanting non-stop as lead singer Eugene Hutz yelled to the crowd, “Coachella this is your town!” as the band then proceeded to play an interesting version of “Wonderlust King” sans percussion (although the rest of the show was filled to the brim). The highlights of the show were easily the amazing fiddling heard in “My Companjera” and the closing song “Start Wearing Purple,” which Hutz took literally as an obligation to shower the front rows with wine. Despite complaints from some who believe Gogol Bordello has gone downhill, the Gypsy Punk band brought an entirely new experience and perspective to Coachella.