Main Stage, 8:45 p.m.
Gogol Bordello’s Trans-Continental Hustle, the group’s American Recordings debut, is perhaps the most ambitious undertaking in the group’s already remarkable decade-long career and it’s the result of an inspired, year-length collaboration with famed producer Rick Rubin. Gogol Bordello is arguably the hardest working — and hardest rocking — group of our discordant new century, maintaining a touring schedule and an onstage energy level that would send the average combo running for the emergency room.
While putting out several critically acclaimed Gypsy Punks and SUPER TARANTA! albums, the intrepid band has literally traversed even the farthest corners of the globe, building a substantial world-wide fan base via gigs and festival appearances throughout Eastern Europe, South America and the Middle East, along with stops in Australia, Western Europe and in their adopted U.S. homeland. Their encounters and adventures, as well as the band members’ own immigrant histories, fuel the subversively upbeat story-songs on Trans-Continental Hustle.
Front-man and lyricist Eugene Hutz spins out scenarios that are, by turns, hilarious and heartbreaking — from the outsider experience of gypsies in his native Ukraine to the struggles and celebrations of Brazil’s favelas. It can be said that Gogol Bordello has been representing the voice of all minorities all at once, a voice that comes from a real, poetic and deep place. Along the way, Hutz looks for common threads while embracing each of his character’s defiantly unique identities, all of which reflect some facet of the frequently flying bandleader himself.