Gogol Bordello
"Live From Axis Mundi"

(SideOneDummy Records 2009)Gogol Bordello - Live From Axis Mundi

I'm exhausted: jumping, dancing, crowd-surfing on a drum. Of course, I lived it all vicariously through the new "Live From Axis Mundi" CD/DVD from Gogol Bordello. Perhaps the Eastern European answer to Irish band Flogging Molly who bring the hoedown wherever they go, Gogol Bordello's carefree party atmosphere comes through loud and clear on the DVD which cuts together two sold-out performances from 2007 at New York City's Irving Plaza. Also included are extras, such as more live videos, music videos and documentary "chronicles" and you more than get your money's worth. And that's before we even move onto the CD.

The Irving Plaza performance is clearly the crown jewel of the "Live From Axis Mundi" set. The hour and 25 minute long performance, with a sea of jumping fans, truly has a party atmosphere unlike most you'll see at rock concerts. It's only in the last third of the live performance, when Gogol Bordello lead Eugene Hütz starts climbing into the crowd and scaling the walls to get to the venue's balcony that, with fans grabbing, clawing and screaming that he goes from being an equal, a bard simply orchestrating the party, to rocketing near rock god status in the eyes of the attendees. The filming itself includes quite a few camera angles and two days worth of footage so the cuts in the action are frequent and match the frenetic feel of the overall show.

The CD, meanwhile, is comprised of six tracks from the band's 2008 appearance on BBC Radio 1's "In The Company Of (with Colin Murray)" along with some other tracks and a couple demos.

For Gogol Bordello fans, "Live From Axis Mundi" is almost a one-stop shop: from the somewhat rare tracks to the fan favorites to the lengthy DVD with music videos.

B+

buy it!