I recently saw Gogol Bordello perform live for the second time. The first was a year (two years?) ago in San Francisco, and it was the wildest, most exhilarating event I have ever attended. Many concerts have “that one song,” that brings the entire audience together in a fever of enthusiasm to focus entirely on the music and the performance. Gogol Bordello managed to maintain this state for the entire 2 hour show. The rush of being in a huge crowd of people screaming in unison and immersed in the moment, led by the gods of gypsy punk, was indescribable. But enough about last year.

The Oakland show was pretty good. The guys brought us a show as wild and passionate as ever before, so I think the crowd was the missing factor. There was nothing wrong with it per se – A few too many sweaty, angry men in the mosh pit for my tastes but that’s almost unavoidable – so I’m willing to bet that the San Francisco crowd that night was just too good to follow. Everybody in that theater was there to see the band, and loved – lusted, even – the music they performed. That just doesn’t happen every day, and it has earned Gogol Bordello a permanent place in my heart.