I'm not going to lie; it feels a little weird writing a critical review of a Girl Talk show. [Text by Andrew, photos by Mike.]
Not that it shouldn't be done every once in a while, but come on, you pretty much know what you're getting into when you go to one of these things; Greg Gillis' signature, bumping mash-ups blasting through all corners of the venue, a whole lot of dancing, and sweat, lots and lots of sweat, especially at an outdoor Florida venue like Jannus Live. If you're contemplating the artistic merits of Girl Talk's music during his show, you're probably going about it all wrong.
Girl Talk's Wednesday night performance was, in all likelihood, an endorphin blast of uninhibited fun for anyone not living under a pop music rock for the past 40 years.
Say what you will about the politics and "artist or not?" debates over mash-up DJs, but how can you not, in the least, smirk at the brazenness of Black Sabbath juxtaposed with Ludacris or Simon and Garfunkel over a Lil John track?
Maybe it's novelty, maybe it's not, but in the flesh, a Girl Talk show is a sensory joyride.
It almost has to be.
Elaborate light setup, fans breaking it down on stage, Gillis bouncing around like a laptop-fixated monkey, balloons, confetti, more balloons; this separates a Girl Talk show from just another night hearing his mixes over the club speakers and, for the most part, it works.
Throughout the show, it became evident that Gillis' worth lies in his ability not just to arbitrarily rub two popular melodies together, but knowing, mixing, and exploiting the crap out of the earworm-y pop songs that burrow themselves into your head whether you want them there or not.
For an hour and 15 minutes, the Pittsburgh native played through the majority of his latest release, All Day, blending the likes of Birdman and the Arcade Fire, Phoenix and (more) Ludacris, Blue Oyster Cult and Nicki Minaj, to create way more of a big, sweaty party than sit and stare concert.
"We're out-SIDE!"Gillis jubilantly exclaimed a number of times during his set, genuinely pumped on playing beyond the walls of some dark, cavernous club. The audience fed off this and every table stand, handclap, and confetti blast emanating from Gillis & Co.
A Girl Talk show is a simple undertaking; he plays, we dance, and hopefully, good times are had.
In a world of endless musical scrutiny from the blogosphere and beyond, sometimes it's nice to just enjoy the gift of your own uninhibited reaction to certain music regardless of how many stars or thumbs up it’s been given.
If Girl Talk, or any artist for that matter, can provide that, they should probably stick around for a while.