Gypsy beats casts a strong spell

****** (6 stars out of 6); Oct 19 at Loppen

While it’s hard to put words to the experience that was Tako Lako (which means ‘that easy’ in Serbian) here goes: wild, haunting, innovative and captivating.

Classifying themselves in the genre of ‘psychedelic gypsy’, their unique sound and their thematic party performances make it easy to see why this band is a rising star on the European scene.

Performing at Loppen on Friday night, the venue provided the dark raw backdrop this band craves while the crowd (consisting of die-hard fans and a few intrigued first timers) gave it one heck of a party atmosphere.

Opening with 'Tako je Lako', Loppen heaved with the energy of this band that effortlessly cast a spell over the audience. It felt as if we were at friend’s birthday party, with seven of our best friends performing rather than just some talented strangers.

Unlike so many bands that have great sound but lack energy onstage, these guys were the whole package. Lead singer Ognjen Curcic gave 130 percent, narrating the night with his infamous Eastern European accent that had us feeling like we had stumbled into Count Dracula’s castle.

The crowd really began to move, jump and let go when 'Overdose' was belted out and it was uphill from there with 'Regards from Serbia', 'Silicone Buzz' and 'The Rest of Us'.

Each band member had their moment to shine. Violinist Søren Stensby Hansen was a stand-out, taking the meaning of ‘rock star violinist’ to a new level, while bassist Philip Zubin Køppen proved that with exceptional skill and a few crazy roof climbs the bass isn’t just a background instrument.

By the time 'GrimyBoy' and 'The Fate' were performed, the crowd was drunk with Balkan beats and let go − literally. Die hard fans ripped their shirts off while the most reserved of dancers flung their limbs around, and the band’s energy went to a whole new level.

The set list ended with 'Eastern Delights', by which time both musicians and fans were spent.

Tako Lako wasn’t ready to end the party there though, emerging for another three numbers including the epic 'Rupa je Rupa 3.0'. The party reluctantly came to a close after 'Kickstart' and in heroic fashion, Curcic was carried off the stage by a few of his half-naked fans.