Gogol Bordello brought down the house but the house stayed seated.
A couple hours have gone by so by now the crowd knows to keep their butts on their chairs and their cell phones in their pockets. Their legs are patiently crossed, if they have to pee. I went to the bathroom during the FKA Twigs set and missed her whole thing. She seemed great through the TV in the bar but I’m sure it was hard to follow that lady who can summon angels and demons with her voice. (Of course I’m talking about Dechen Shak Dagsay!)
“Bordello” means “brothel” in Italian; that’s how this place is starting to feel. The audience is too excited, they’re bubbling over with feelings that don’t fit in the room. So far, the 26th Annual Tibet Benefit Concert has been fantastic, with performers like Philip Glass, Basia Bulat, Lavinia Meijer, Sharon Jones and now, everyone’s favorite drunk uncles! They’ve psyched us up for what’s next.
“Fuck Yeah!” a girl’s voice shrieks from somewhere in the crowd. Iggy Pop has landed. He begins with spoken word pieces, “I Talked to a Smart Guy” and “Mom and Dad are Gone,” keeping his shirt on. Is this an attempt to hide his power, knowing very well what would happen if he reveals himself? It doesn’t matter! His efforts to keep the order are futile; we aren’t obedient. By the end of the show, Iggy is singing Bowie (“The Jean Genie”) and all rules fly out the window. The crowd (the cool crowd, anyway) is gathered in front, pushing into the stage, jumping on the bouncers, dancing with each other and taking pictures and videos (which are absolutely forbidden here!!!) as if the past hours never even happened. Punk rock is alive and well, even at Carnegie Hall.
After the show, the lucky (wealthy) few head towards the “after party” aka auction. It’s held at Gotham Hall, which looks like something straight from Gotham City: dark, spooky and excruciatingly glamorous. There, the press lurks in the corners, hoping to pounce on the performers for a quote or two. I saw FKA Twigs weaving elegantly between tables, balancing a plate of dessert from the buffet in her hand, so I didn’t bother her. Personally, I don’t want anyone asking me anything when I’ve got a serving of sugar and carbs in front of me. It’s a delicate, private thing.
As a Slav, I figured Eugene Hutz was fair game. I’ve been obsessed with him since I was a teenager, which allows me to make excuses for myself like, “we’re both Slavic, so he’s fair game.” He didn’t smell like booze in person, which was disappointing. He did look great and say a few cute things, though. I asked him what we can all do to make the world a little better—this being a benefit, after all—and he assured me that “the world is already saved! It’s turning on its own…nobody’s turning it! Things get better and then they get fucked up again…and then they get even better and then they get even more fucked up then ever!” I asked when he’ll do an illegal anti-Putin concert in Moscow and he said, “I wasn’t planning on it. I’ve been really into South America so that’s probably where I’m going next. Brazil!” Great, now I’ve got another reason to be jealous of the women in that country *grabs own butt cheeks* *cries*
Aside from my own presence, the auction was quite respectful, which was also disappointing. I guess I was hoping they would auction dates with Iggy Pop, in which case I’d sell my apartment, which I’m renting, and then go to jail, which would be worth it.
Because then they could all host a Benefit for my Bail.