As soon as Canopy Club’s doors opened, those lucky enough to grab one of the coveted tickets to the sold-out show, Girl Talk, streamed in, heading directly for the front of the stage. The audience that Gregg Gillis, the man behind the laptop loop mash-ups, drew was diverse. This wasn’t a show just for hipsters. This wasn’t a show pulling in mostly sorority girls or frat guys either. It didn’t matter if someone had never heard a single track off of one of Gillis’ 4 albums, because more than likely, they already knew the words.
This was a show for anyone who just felt like partying.
Opening acts CX Kidtronix and punk electronica duo Deathset made sure to keep the audience enterained before the headliner, but all that was forgotten, when Gregg Gillis jogged on stage in a mismatched sweat suit. The anticipation had been built up beyond control and when he approached the table in the front of the stage, it erupted.
Without making the crowd wait another second, he started turning knobs, pressing buttons, and stringing loops together into the complexly layered anthems he is known for.
Gillis mainly constructed songs from his most recent album, Feed the Animals, available for any price on his website. Each song flowed effortlessly into the next, leaving little break for the dance party that had now ruptured onto the stage despite the security guards best regulatory efforts.
Listening to Girl Talk is similar to eating a Jelly Belly variety bag with closed eyes; you can’t see what’s coming but when you get a flavor you recognize, it is way more exciting than picking it out of a bowl. Gillis layered loops from “Jessie’s Girl”, Kelly Clarkson, and Peter Bjorn and John all within a quick 4 minutes.
The mash-ups were filled with ironically juxtaposed lyrics, danceable, spastic rhythms, and overtly sexual content but what made the show memorable was Gillis’s engaging stage performance.
He jumped off the stage into the crowd, joining a few body surfers, (only he wasn’t whisked off immediately by a security guard when he found his way back to the stage), left his laptop to mill around with audience members gyrating on stage, and danced to his own music from on top of his table.
Gillis displayed a convincing ability to make this show, one of several on his demanding tour schedule, seem like his one of his first. His energy was enormous and endless. His enthusiasm, if it was an act, was a great one.
He managed to blur the relationship between the audience and the performer. Gillis responded to the audience and the audience responded back. It was almost like a partnership; each side trying to one-up the other for who could be most out of control.
There were no breaks in the music until the on-stage dancers accidentally pushed the table with all of Girl Talk’s equipment into the crowd. Gillis, a large security guard, and concertgoers on stage and off saved the equipment from falling over completely but, the music had to stop for a half hour so the equipment could be set up again.
When Girl Talk returned, it was like he had never left. He didn’t stop playing again until 1:00 a.m. To usher himself out, he looped in Weezer’s “Say it Aint So” over Pixies’ “Where is My Mind?”.
The lights in Canopy rose, girls wrung sweat out of their ponytails, and guys realized that the shirt they had flung off was lost forever.
Skeptics of Girl Talk who don’t consider Gregg Gillis to be a “real” musician because he samples from numberless existing pop songs, can’t deny the fact that he is a real performer.
If anyone didn’t have a crazy time at Girl Talk, it wasn’t because Gregg Gillis didn’t try hard to create one.

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