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Gogol Bordello in Oakland

October 18, 2009

I lucked into a ticket to Gogol Bordello last week. The show was fantastic.

As previously blogged I recently attended the ReadWriteWeb Real-Time Web Summit. The day before the event I had noticed the Pogues are playing at the House of Blues in San Diego on October 19.

I am a big Pogues fan and it has been over a year since I’ve been to any concert. When I looked at ticket prices I learned they are selling for $85 a ticket! I don’t think I have ever spent more than $50 on a concert ticket. Tara encouraged me to go to the show, but there is no way I can bring myself to spend that much for a concert. Especially not for a concert at the House of Blues—the Applebee’s of concert venues.

MindTouch == Freedom :-)

After deciding not to attend the Pogues show I was pondering how long it has been since I went to a show and how I really wanted to see Gogol Bordello live. In the event you are not familiar with this band, think: Gypsy Punk Rock. Sounds awesome, right? It is.

Gogol Bordello at the Burton Cummings Theatre

The next day, while at the aforementioned conference, I bumped into Eric Marcoullier. Eric is one of the guys who built and sold MyBlogLog to Yahoo!. I’m not sure how we first met, but Chad Dickerson, formerly the lead of Yahoo! Developer and the current CTO of Etsy.com, is a mutual friend and I believe Chad introduced us a couple years ago or perhaps Chad just said we should meet. I’m not sure.

Chad Dickerson & Etsy

Eric and I suffer from what I call: cyber familiarity dissonance (CFD). This is when the familiarity with a given person is disproportional online than the familiarity afforded via meat space interactions. Basically, you barely know them, but thanks to social networking and social media tools you feel like you know each other fairly well. It seems my relationships in meat space increasingly suffer from CFD.

*The* Marcoullier

While talking, Eric mentioned he was attending Gogol later that night. Having just been thinking the night before about Gogol it seemed a peculiar coincidence. Alas, the event was sold out. 5 minutes after speaking with Eric he returned to inform me he had a ticket. $35. I was in. If I were

Holy crap, the Fox Theater in Oakland is beautiful!

Gogol Bordello @ The Fox in Oakland

The show was fantastic. It was the highest energy concert and best pit I’ve been in for years. I was left of center stage and surging between 3-8 people back. The pit was friendly, but there were plenty of elbows flying, body surfing (which means you have to watch or be kicked in the head) and I experienced a few head-butts. Good times.

Maybe it’s the nature of Gogol or perhaps the changing times, I’m not sure, but there were a surprising number of women in the pit. Is this typical these days?

in closing, if ever you have a chance to attend a Gogol Bordello show you really should jump at the opportunity. 

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