Gogol Bordello / The Secretaries Edmonton Events Centre, Edmonton AB October 15

Anticipation is bipolar — sometimes revving it up inside your heart leads to disappointment. In the case of Gogol Bordello’s delayed return to ferociously Slavic central Alberta, the wait really was worth it as hype paid off.

The refugee track star clothes, the wedding dancing, the tight-fisted clutching of hedonism, these elements came together with an energy that simply cannot be successfully faked. Even though the Bordello were on the end of their long tour — each of their eight musical demons visibly sagging here and there for the simple purpose of getting more air into their lungs — they had the pit sweating within seconds of coming on.

"Ultimate” is the song Eugene Hütz said hello with, which meant an instant sing-along to the rather Yoda-garbled sentiment: "If we are here not to do/what you and I wanna do/and go forever crazy with it/why the hell we are even here?” Indeed. Hütz followed this mantra: from straddling the bouncer moat, pouring full bottles of wine onto (and into) his moshers, to choking Elizabeth Sun as she and Pamela Jintana Rachine first appeared in fetish office/circus wear.

Shirt torn off, body fat simply can’t cling to this springboard Ukrainian New Yorker. Swirling around him, accordion, fiddle, bass and guitar — plus the shrieking sex nymphs pounding on a giant drum or playing with fire buckets as everyone was ordered to "start wearing purple” again. This further enlivened a certain costumed subspecies among the raised fists. Seductive madness, this "gypsy punk.”

Before they came on, a fine slot for the local Secretaries — three beautiful ladies mixing Joni Mitchell, Heart and dirty, dirty swears. The crowd dug it, especially their scolding "Dead in the Night,” which in no way described the kaleidoscopic evening.