We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
A decade or so ago, Gogol Bordello’s New York-centric native habitat included places like a Ukrainian social club in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn (complete with fur-coat-clad girlfriends of mobster-looking locals and blinis for sale by the bar), or an impromptu late-night gig at a Bulgarian bar in lower Manhattan, where half the band would just show up and play along as frontman Eugene Hütz DJed. These days, the group is based in Brazil as well as New York, opening up summer concert tours for massive acts like the Dave Matthews Band and selling out venues like the 9:30 Club weeks in advance. The days when random fans could stumble onto the stage to jump around with the band in a tiny venue after throwing down vodka all night with a damn-the-torpedoes disregard for the next morning’s consequences, in other words, are over. But 15 years after they got their start, Hütz and his crew have managed to keep the manic energy, raw power, and drum-banging joy that made them “gypsy punk” genre-defining cult favorites to begin with. Which means the timing of this week’s D.C. shows works out well; you’ll be glad to have a couple of nights to recover before New Year’s Eve. Gogol Bordello performs with Man Man at 8 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $35. (202) 265-0930. 930.com.