Combine a seemingly disjointed mix of pop, rap, grunge and every other musical sound, Twist and Shout vigorously, drench in sweat, and add Kelly Clarkson to taste. Here you have the recipe for the perfect gig: a Girl Talk gig. Just don’t forget to add water or you might not make it out the other side.
Last Saturday saw Gregg Gillis perform yet another sweat-fest of a show at The Enmore in Newtown, Sydney. Working PARTYING under the alias of Girl Talk, Gillis knows how to get the party started, climaxed, and utterly done, all the while leaving the crowd panting for more.
King Gizzard and the Lizzard Wizzard (yes) opened for him. They didn’t seem like quite the right fit for the gig with most of the crowd chilling out on the ground while the screams carried on on-stage. But none of that mattered because when Girl Talk hit the stage the crowd was ready for the main event, no foreplay needed. It only took a few starting notes from “Let it out” and we were off. And ‘let it out’ so we did. With the crowd eating every piece of him up, Gillis switched between working his laptop, grooving to his own mash-ups (is this a form of musical masturbation?), to standing on a table shouting at the crowd.
Having seen Girl Talk perform twice before I thought I was prepared for the heat, sweat and dirty good fun that was to come. But dressed for maximum air ventilation still didn’t cut it as the room heated up and the air thickened. The Enmore was heaving like I’d only ever seen it last time he played here. Even a glance to the upstairs seated area revealed no-one can sit through a Girl Talk show, the crowd upright and boogieing to Blackstreet’s No Diggity mashed with Kanye West’s Flashing Lights (Can I say that? Boogieing? I’m going with it).
An hour into his set I was so sweaty and salty you could have dried me out and used me to cure ham. Every part of me was saturated. Even my sweat drops had sweat drops. And Gillis was feeling it too as he stripped off his clothing piece by piece. Is it so wrong that I secretly wish he had thrown his sweat-drenched singlet in my direction? That man is a god.
Like any good party host, Gillis knows that props are important. A man standing behind his laptop for 90 mins isn’t usually the most visually exciting spectacle. But Gillis came armed with his troupe of stage dancers (who are they and how can we be one!), exploding confetti and toilet paper cannons (more fun than it sounds), balloons of all sizes, an epic light show, and even a fireworks display (happy new year!). Who doesn’t enjoy batting/popping balloons while dancing to a mash-up of Missy Elliot’s Work It and M83’s Midnight City? Actually, if you have globophobia you might not enjoy that, but maybe you have bigger things to worry about.
While I should probably recount a few more of the amazing tracks Gillis played and specificities of the show, the truth is I was having far too much fun to take notes. And that’s the best part about Girl Talk’s performance; you lose yourself silly and really don’t care. No matter how perfectly groomed every scenester looked as they entered the Enmore, they all walked out of there looking as though they’d been through the wash, and smelling as though they needed one. That being said, you would be hard-pressed to find a happier looking bunch of people. Girl Talk made it so.
No one, absolutely no-one, loves their job as much as Girl Talk does. And with the perfect recipe of great music, creative talent, and the amount of crazy good fun he has on stage, it’s easy to see why. Get to one of his parties if you can.
For more information here is a (somewhat better) review of his show at The Palace, Melbourne and an interview with him on Pedestrian TV.