By Jett Wells
If you want to know how well a Girl Talk show went, you need only ask when it fell apart. Sunday’s (August 23) show peaked early. By the time mash-up phenom Greg Gillis launched into his third song, the crowd had already trampled the barricade and ransacked the stage at the Williamsburg Waterfront.
From every vantage point, there were flailing body parts, sweat-drenched faces and tumbling body surfers. After hours of shoving, pushing, jumping, air-humping and fist-pumping, the crowd screamed and let out a huge breath of air and walked their limp bodies home in the rain.
Even though his live show is little more than a dude from Pittsburgh with a laptop, Gillis’ intensity is undeniable. He started the concert dry-headed and wearing a sweatshirt, but by the end of the set he was half-naked and completely soaked in his own sweat. By then, Gillis was just another dude in the crowd, as the audience had long since rushed the stage to join the party next to Gillis. Halfway through the set, the music stopped suddenly because the crowd had pulled out some cords. 10 minutes later, the music stopped again because the stage was falling apart from all the weight of the dancing fans.
“You guys broke the stage!” Gillis yelled.
Perhaps the most overlooked virtue about Girl Talk concerts is that his mash-ups are always different. Most of the samples are the same, but the combination constantly changes and he’s always adding new ideas. On Sunday, Gillis dipped into new hits like Drake’s “Best I Ever Had” and Lady Gaga’s “LoveGame.”
Though the show ended with violent dancing and rain, everybody still walked away smiling. Such is Gillis’ trick: He plays songs you already know in a no-frills setting, and somehow he remains transcendent.