Saturday, November 10, 2007

11/3 Gogol Bordello @ Terminal 5

Or, " thing I know Eugene Hutz is on TOP of me."

"Holy, fucking shit," I thought to myself as I continued to follow the line that snaked along the boarded up construction that neighbored Terminal 5. I knew the show was sold out, but the line really surprised me. I guess I'd gotten too complacent where I was always one of the first people to show up and people usually didn't bother showing up until the doors actually opened, or even waited until after the opening acts played.

As we waited in line, I tried to figure out whether or not I should just head up to the balcony to get a front view up there rather than take my chances.

"I need to come here at least 2 hours before the doors open the next time," I mused as we slowly started entering like cattle. The ladies were made to stand to the left and men to the right. We had to have our jackets and bags opened for inspection. I was still mildly annoyed about possibly having a shitty view when I decided to enter the main admission area before heading up to the balconies...only to be surprised that there seemed to be not that many people already inside.

"What the fuck kind of Tardis shit is this?" I asked looking around incredulously. It wasn't just that there weren't that many people on the main floor, the balconies looked pretty empty too. I didn't waste anytime however and made a beeline for the stage and ended up being in the second row. I have no idea where those people disappeared to. I'm thinking there was a trap door that I narrowly missed while walking in. The hallways of the place did look a bit unfinished still. Unless they were being ironic about their look or something. There was still visible spackling on the hallway walls.

The opening act was Dub Trio and a DJ spun some ill gypsy/Greek/Slavic music infused beats. I couldn't catch the DJs name, but learned later on that he was the newest addition to the Gogol Bordello crew.

Quite honestly, the whole show was a blur. I'm already horrible at remember sets, but at a Gogol Bordello show? I mean, if I wrote shit down, OK, yea I'd get by, but who the hell goes to shows to write shit down unless it was your job or something? I do this for fun. If I was getting paid for it, fine, yea I'd be more conscientious about that kind of stuff, but I do enough of that at my regular job as it is. Just let me have my peace and enjoy the music and atmosphere. And damn, what an atmosphere it was, which brings me to another group at shows which annoys me as much as assholes: Pussies.

People who bitch at shows about how rough it gets. And I don't mean all shows get a free pass for being rough. Some shows aren't meant to be, and when you're trying to crowd surf to mellow-ass shit or trying to skank just because the band plays something somewhat fast-paced, you're just trying too hard or being a douche. For example, that one dude? At Arcade Fire who was doing the punk show, one hand on someone's shoulder so you can jump up high thing? Except he was like 6'2" and was using the shoulder of a girl in front of him who looked like she was 5'2" and would barely weigh 100 pounds soaking wet? You, sir, are a goddamned idiot. Everyone instinctively knows what kind crowd a show will generate. Sometimes you may overestimate, but you come with some sense in your head of whether or not you'll spend an evening with your arms crossed bobbing your head or if you should be more than ready to have to clock a motherfucker. What I'm talking about, are people who come to a Gogol Bordello show and can't stop complaining about being jostled about. Or people shooting you dirty looks because you shoved them the hell back into the crowd after they try to push you out of the way to get to the front.

This is a public service announcement. First of all, yea shows can get rough, but you don't have to be an asshole about it. No, you're not going to be getting into fistfights at a show just because it's a rough show. There's still some modicum of respect. The Golden Rule applies; don't do anything you wouldn't want someone to do to you. Sure there's some randomass droog type douchebag who'll show up keen to shove their fist down someone's rot or tolchok someone in the gulliver, and have that be the only goal for the show, but really, you usually can find like-minded people to do that with you and people like that can spot their own and y'all usually know what shows that's appropriate for.

On the same note, don't be surprised if I'm shoving you out of the goddamn way because you're trying to get in front of me. Homey don't play that shit. It's called general admission. Let me break it down for you for a sec. The rule is, you're not entitled to any one spot and for that matter, neither am I really. We all paid the same price monetarily. You sure as hell may try to get in front of me or whatever, but if I can keep you at bay, then tough fucking luck. However, as someone who actually showed up on time, if not even earlier, and really did want to check out the opening acts, it does piss me off when people show up at a show an hour or so late, or maybe already into the first one or two songs of the main act and decide they need to be where I'm at. The point is this, I got to a show early and stood in line and all that. I may not be entitled, but I'll be damned if I let your ass scooch up front after enjoying some drinks at the bar and finally hearing a song and going, "Oh shit, that's my jam," before deciding to amble up. And you're just making it worse when it's worse when it's a packed show. Where the hell do you think we're all gonna go? It's called fucking displacement, bitch. If it's one of those loosely congregated crowds with pockets of space I'm actually a bit more chill about that, but no damn way I'm going to sacrifice my comfort for you. If you really want it that bad, you better bring it.

Anyhow I spent the evening firmly rooted in my spot. Right hand holding on to the railing that a girl in front of me was leaning on. I ended up uncomfortably cupping her right breast the entire night. The left arm was elbow cocked at a 30 degree position and ready to throw some 'bows. The thing is, it's not just a matter of visibility and being up front, it's also a matter of safety. The show did not have a designated mosh pit area. And when I mean designated, I mean the 5-10 people who decide "hey, we're gonna start moshing...HERE." Meaning that it wasn't a ROUGH show, but it was one of those possibly dangerous ones where an eye of chaos kind of swirls about throughout the crowd like the hurricane graphic you see on the weather report. Mosh pits are honestly a bit more organized because you have a group of people who create a circle in the middle of the crowd that no one goes near unless they want to get pulled in. In the case of the hurricane, it's more or less people falling and pulling themselves back up causing other people around them to fall and pull themselves back up, and so on and so forth. So once you're pushed, there's a good chance you'll be pushed around a LOT. And it became so tightly packed it becomes one of those situations of , "Well, I'm only being held up by the sheer amount of people squashed around me, but if I fall, I am FUCKED." I was strictly in the "fuck that noise" camp.

Now that I think about it, considering the eclectic mix of people in line before the show, there's a chance that a majority of them were in fact in the third or second balconies, knowing full well they'd be avoiding the jostling crowd below and mos def not being down with that. However, at one point during the show I turned around to see some curly salt-and-pepper haired, bespectacled, mustachioed older gentleman dressed like someone's dad at a ball game standing directly behind me in the midst of sweaty 18-25 years old pushing each other about and I just gaped at him. I soon recovered from my gaping at the old man when I turned around and Eugene Hutz's chest was right in my face. He was tottering over the crowd by standing on the railing. The crowd seemed to be committed to helping him out. They propped him up, which was difficult to do because the man was slippery as a greased pig thanks to a sheen of sweat and his shirtlessness, and sort of held onto his legs. I was surprised no one tried to yank him into the crowd. I thought only comic book characters did this, but I actually let out an audible (well, audible if tens of people weren't screaming) "oof" at one point because he decided to hold himself up above the crowd by squarely planting his hand on my right shoulder and grasping it for dear life. I tottered, then regained my center of gravity and continued screaming my head off in excitement.

Was there bucket drumming? Yes there was. But just of the mic stand variety, he didn't do the buckets on his backup dancer's feet drumming. And may I say? Those ladies are hot. I totally wanted to talk to them after the show. And not in a weird creepy way. Just they're so cool I felt like I was back in the 6th grade staring at this one super cool high school chick who used to go to my school who was like half-Italian and half-Bolivian, had long thick black hair, was always dressed in black and wore black eyeliner in a thick Cleopatra kind of way and would smoke behind our school. I wish I could put down "Gogol Bordello backup dancer/singer" on my resume.

I also love their bass player, especially when he'd start groovin' in on some reggae-style basslines.

I was tempted to go to the after party, but it was already close to 1 a.m. and I was on my own and kind of wussed out on that idea.

Oh, and another reason why I wanted to be up front was because I had made a sign. It was a sign that simply said, "Mr. Hutz! I want to have sex with your mustache!! (It's that glorious)"

I'm serious.

When I relayed this tidbit to Eryka on the phone the day after there was a moment of silence on the other end until she said, "It really said that?"

"Yea!" I answered brightly. More silence followed.

"Well, it's not like I'm running for public office or anything," I added finally feeling a bit of an awkward vibe.

"You sure aren't now."

The sad thing is, he didn't even see the sign. But a bunch of people around me did, and one guy even asked if he could take a picture of me with the sign. It's probably out there somewhere floating around on the dude's Flickr or Photobucket account.

And to make up for the fact that I can never remember the set order, I have a surprise for y'all. Yep, snagged the setlist for once:


Post a Comment

<< Home