Gogol Bordello at Kemba Live on October 21, 2022.
Meet the Gypsy Punks. Gogol Bordello was formed in Manhattan in 1999, but the band is comprised of musicians from all over the world. While the makeup of the band has changed over time, Eugene Hütz (lead singer/guitarist from Ukraine) and Sergey Ryabtsev (backing vocalist and violinist from Russia) have been the mainstays. Eugene has been very vocal about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and he has spearheaded several fundraising campaigns to help his home country. The backdrop for this tour is a large banner with a closed fist in the Ukrainian colors and along with the words, Solidaritine. Solidaritine is the name of the band’s most recent album released here in 2022. Gogol Bordello is mainly based on Romani or eastern European music, but it incorporates many other styles including punk, latin, dub, and rock. Gogol Bordello is arguably the most energetic band that I have ever seen. It is full of positive energy… along the lines of both eastern European and punk music. Gogol Bordello is known for their wildly theatrical shows and non-stop touring. You have to check them out the next time they travel through Columbus.
Crazy and the Brains at Kemba Live on October 21, 2022.
Unlike the gypsy-style punk music of Gogol Bordello, a New Jersey based punk band called Crazy and the Brains opened the show up with a solid set of more modern punk. Frontman Christopher Urban (stage name Christopher Jesus) is a captivating figure to watch flail about the stage and preach their punkology. Crazy and the Brains were very complimentary to Gogol Bordello’s style of music. I would love to see them come back to Columbus and play one of the smaller, more intimate venues.
FKJ at Kemba Live on October 25, 2022.
Vincent Fenton works professionally under the moniker French Kiwi Juice, or FKJ for short. FKJ is an extremely talented multi-instrumentalist from Tours, France. He plays guitar, bass, keys and saxophone among other various instruments. FKJ performs predominantly jazz and pop music. While he made a name for himself performing solo with looping devices, he now travels and performs with backing artists to provide a wider range of music during live performances. The stage was very beautiful and I believe it was intended to replicate some of his home studio space. The visuals were stunning and accomplished through both an array of synched lighting devices and a stage backdrop made up entirely of video screens. FKJ is music to sit back relax and escape into; a complete 180 from Crazy and the Brains and Gogol Bordello.