Pete's Log: Gogol Bordello @ Alte Feuerwache Mannheim

Entry #1608, (Music)
(posted when I was 30 years old.)

So I've spent a significant part of 2008 in the Mannheim/Ludwigshafen am Rhein area. Of recent, however, I've gotten to spend more time in Munich again, which I definitely appreciate. This week, though, I was supposed to be back in Ludwigshafen.

I had noticed that Gogol Bordello, who (sadly) I only discovered recently, was playing in Mannheim on December 2. So when the trip was confirmed, I booked a ticket, since it was only 20 euro. Mannheim was about the closest they were coming to Munich on this tour, so it seemed to work out pretty good.

Until the meeting in Ludwigshafen got cancelled after all. The one time I actually want to be in Mannheim, it gets cancelled. Well, postponed, actually.

So, it was only 20 euro, so no big deal if I don't make it. And maybe I can try to find somebody who wants to buy the ticket. But who knows when my next chance will be to see them? And I hear they're really good live.

So I went. Left work a bit early (I've been putting in plenty of hours to compensate) and trained up to Mannheim. Got to the venue just as the opening band came on stage. A ska/rap band from French-speaking Belgium (Wallonia or Brussels, I'm not sure) who certainly win points for energy. Unfortunately I forget their name.

Gogol Bordello was awesome. They perform well, have great energy and chemistry and are fun to watch. Sound quality was also great. Totally worth the trip. This might be the first time I've seen a washboard played at a concert.

The venue is neat, too. It's an old firestation. I didn't see any poles to slide down, though.

Anyway, I then had three hours to kill before my train home. So I hung out at an Irish pub until they closed and then hung out on the platform until my train came at 2:43 am. It takes 12 minutes to walk down and back the full length of platform 4 at Mannheim central station.

Luckily I've gotten good at sleeping on trains and managed to sleep quite well on the trip home. Arrived in Munich shortly after 7, home, shower, clean clothes, and back to work.

So yeah. Worth it. If I hadn't gone, I'd have regretted it, so this turned out ok. I'd definitely go see them again, too. Though hopefully with less travel required.