Girl Talk at Congress Theater
Girl Talk. Say the name and you’ll invoke either confused stares (you mean when two girls have a conversation?) or swoons. For all those who are sane and awesome, the primary response is definitely swooning and awe. And at his concert Saturday night at the Congress theater, good old Gregg Gillis, a.k.a. "Girl Talk," did not disappoint his loyal legions of followers. Lessons learned at Girl Talk:
Gregg Gillis truly is a god among men. Sitting through the first two opening acts was worth it just to hear Gregg push buttons on a keyboard. There are very few people who can legitimize the pushing of buttons as a talent, and he is one of them. Girl Talk played a bunch of his newer mixes from “All Day,” but kept things lively by not just using samples the audience would have heard before. Instead he mixed things up, keeping the dance party fun and bumpin’. (In many cases, quite literally bumping. But I’ll get to that later.) His remix of “Shout!” was probably one of the best things ever -- the sold out theater thought nothing of crouching onto the disgusting, beer-covered floor and “gettin’ a little bit softer now.” Nothing would have made me touch that floor unless Girl Talk commanded me to. Also, for those with some PITTSBURGH PRIDE, there was a quality remix of Black and Yellow that personally melted my heart. (Girl Talk is a Pittsburgh native, suckas. Interestingly enough, so is Christina Aguilera.). Gregg even whipped out some classics, like a mix of “Jesse’s Girl” with “BUT I’D RATHER GET SOME HEAD” thrown in. Good stuff.
The visual elements were also sick. The constantly changing lights behind Gillis on stage were absolutely insane. (Also a quick shoutout to the opening act who had a scene from The Room incorporated into one of his songs.) The audience was frequently barraged with artillery raining down from the sky -- balloons, confetti, etc. -- which only made the show even more fun and chaotic.
Overall, Girl Talk kept things funky fresh and superb. His ability to make hipsters flail their arms and dance wildly instead of headnodding is unchallenged. Ain’t no party like a Girl Talk dance party.
Grow a pair. Or pregame harder. The only problem with Girl Talk concerts, quite honestly, is the crowd. Back in the good old days, when Gregg was performing at smaller venues in Pittsburgh -- Mr. Small’s, this is your shoutout -- the crowd was fun and goofy. If you wanted to climb on stage with your friends, it was pretty easy. Everyone respected your dance space. One time, on stage, Girl Talk announced he wanted Taco Bell. So he got some -- and then upon leaving, bouncers handed out burritos to everyone. Girl Talk had ordered Taco Bell for everyone in the audience. Nowadays, it’s not as personal of an atmosphere. As a chica barely over five feet, I can (and do) get my shit wrecked by pushy high schoolers, which, while embarrassing, is mostly just annoying.
The crowd at the Congress was particularly rowdy. Getting to the front row basically required a willingness to never let your feet to touch the ground, instead simply being pushed violently from side to side. It was a feeling similar to being hit with tsunami waves simultaneously from all sides. So that was unfortunate. This phenomenon leaves the audience members with two options: either accept the imminent crushing of infinite sweaty bodies, or push back. Or a perfect compromise: go to the side a wee bit, still dance intensely, but avoid being elbowed in the face about twenty times. And then just go to town and not give a crap about who you hit with your own elbows. It’s a dog eat dog world out there, people.
The Verdict: Prepare to get extremely sweaty, pushed around by high schoolers who think they are cool and moshers who are a little desperate for human contact. Did I get sweaty? Yes. Did I have drinks spilled on me? Yes. Was it fucking awesome? YES.