Both are big bands (8 or 9 people onstage) with a big sound. And now, possibly a big impact. Creating a new Fujirock record, Räfven performed eight times at the festival, playing everywhere from the massive Red Marquee stage to the Mokudoutei, a small wooden platform set up along a boardwalk through the forest. Word spread over the weekend (their CD was one of the fest’s highest-selling), and by their final shows, crowds had grown massive . . . and rowdy. Ever seen 200 Japanese kids mosh to accordions and violins? It’s magnificent.
Räfven are unknowns on the global stage, but Gogol Bordello have recently taken the world by storm (even Madonna wants a piece of Eugene Hütz, the band’s prolific frontman). Hütz‘s self-proclaimed “Immigrant Punk” style has made Gogol Bordello the darling of the global festival circuit with its unclassifiable mix of musical signifiers (band members hail from Russia, Ethiopia, Israel, Scotland, Ecuador, America and elsewhere). Imagine if the Clash gigged at a Jewish-Ukrainian mafia wedding in late 70′s Detroit and you’ll get a rough idea.
Read the full piece at Japan Pulse.