Gregg Gillis (aka Girl Talk) is many things: Pittsburgh native, biomedical engineering school graduate, skinny white guy with piercing blue eyes — but most relevant to you, he is a Master of Mashup with his massive throwdown shows. On Friday night, the Boulder kids (and Denver kids, and Colorado Springs kids) all packed ourselves into the Fox Theatre, pressed sweating up against each other to dance and sing along at a super-sold-out show with Mr. Gillis. He almost rocked all the cheeky unicorn backpacks, shortie tracksuits, and neon sweatbands clear off. Check the video (oh, warning – douchebag content):
I’ve said before that listening to Gillis feels like the way my brain plays music snippets all right on top of one another when I flip through an eclectic jukebox in a bar after drinking a few. It is a little disorienting but so wonderful. He clearly loves what he does, and that enthusiasm vibrates out into the crowd. It was an all-ages show so I begrudgingly kept feeling vaguely old at 28 (!) and the temperature inside on the sweltering July night must have topped the high ninety degree mark. But despite all the sweating (or because of it) this was one of the best evenings I’ve had in a long time.
What floors me about Gillis on his album –and times 10 in a live setting– is the way he mashes such unexpected songs from different eras, and they all fly so damn well. The dirty version of Khia’s “My Neck, My Back” layered in with Yael Naim’s “New Soul”? Surprisingly flawless. A closing moment of communal epiphany with arms interlaced to Journey’s “Faithfully” right in there with “Pop, Lock & Drop It”? Sweeet.
My new friend Ben was commenting on how it was a little odd to be standing facing a stage waiting for a “show” and then an “encore” by a “band” that was just one guy and two laptops wrapped in plastic bags (to protect against dripping sweat?). Seconds after Gillis started his set, the floor started to undulate. One guy ran on stage which started a landslide, and soon the room and stage both were converted into one big writhing mass of people.
You think you’ve experienced the fun of Girl Talk by spinning Night Ripper at your party or Feed The Animals in your dorm room, but I gotta say that you simply have not gotten the full GT experience until you hear him work his craft live, drenched in sweat, with hundreds of your new friends. GO!
GIRL TALK LIVE DATES
Jul 24 Commodore Ballroom – Vancouver, BC
Jul 25 Capitol Hill Block Party – Seattle, WA
Jul 26 Roseland Theater – Portland, OR
Aug 3 Lollapalooza – Chicago, IL
Aug 6 The Ã˜ya Festival – Oslo, Norway
Aug 7 Way Out West – Stockholm, Sweden
Aug 8 All Points West Festival – Jersey City, NJ
And this is still my favorite Girl Talk jam:
Bounce That – Girl Talk