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Downtown accordion fun time

Thank your artsy-fartsy, Eastern European hoe down-loving stars. Tonight, Downtown takes on center of the universe status with a double header of living, breathing, sweating entertainment.

Gogol Bordello @ Rock the Block

First up is First Fridays, the Arts Districts’ monthly block party and open house, which turns six this month, complete with gallery shows, live music on two stages, spontaneous break dancing, tasty snacks and cold beer. Every month, First Fridays brings Las Vegas a taste of a real urban lifestyle via the park, walk and browse outdoor party. In another city First Fridays might be taken for granted, but in the neon desert we welcome a break from the corporate diversions and valet parking.

Just down the street on Fremont, “the premier gypsy-punk band in the country,” will be encouraging fans to wear purple and embrace their inner polka dancer. Gogol Bordello has gained a cult following for their eclectic blend of accordion-tinged punk and European folk music, and the octet – yes, there are eight of them – are known for putting on shows that have to be experienced to be believed. The concert is taking place as a part of the “Rock the Block” event in the Fremont East Entertainment District.

If that’s not enough to have you singing hallelujahs, there’s one more Downtown attraction that could seal the deal. The 2008 Las Vegas Bike Fest is in full swing, and Hogs and Heifers is the festival’s designated home away from Cashman. Rub elbows with bike builders, engineers and aficionados, while you listen to live sets from The Lucky Cheats and Southern Stue. Just make sure not to diss anyone’s ride.

Las Vegas Sun producer Melissa Arseniuk contributed to this post.

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