LIVE REVIEW: Girl Talk at Jannus Live 05.18.11
Gregg Gillis likes to be outdoors. The 29-year-old mash-up artist better known as Girl Talk brought his All Day tour to the friendly confines of Jannus Landing last night, and no one seemed to be more pleased to be in an open-air venue than Gillis himself.
“St. Petersburg!,” he told the near-capacity on more than one occasion, “We’re outside!” And while The ‘Burg (and Bay area in general) has been experiencing unusually beautiful May weather this week, the real treat last night was getting to see the Pittsburgh native give some of his energy back to the crowd. Taking the stage at precisely 9:30 p.m., Gillis stepped behind his setup – a table, two huge monitors, a couple of laptops, and controller – dressed in sweatpants and hoodie, and delivered 90 minutes of mayhem to an audience ready to let loose.
Make no mistake, a Girl Talk show is not for intellectuals interested in dissecting the artist’s compositions or criticizing the way he blends the countless samples utilized during last night’s set. No, a Girl Talk show is for music lovers who want to simply dance and have a good time. The sea of people in attendance was filled with fresh faces, and there is no better demographic to enjoy Gillis’ set than the young. Utilizing samples that ranged from Paul Simon (“Cecilia”) to Miley Cyrus (“Party In the U.S.A.”) to Lady Gaga (“Bad Romance”) to Tag Team (“Whoomp There It Is”), it was hard to find anyone standing still at Jannus last night.
There was a contingent of dancers on stage from the opening seconds of the set and Gillis’ show utilized a bevy of balloons and countless rolls of toilet paper (shot from paint rollers attached to leaf blowers) to create a spectacle that, combined with the mash-ups coming from the speakers, was pure sensory overload. But for all the bells, whistles, face paint, and confetti, nothing could top the energy Gillis emitted on stage.
He slowly shed layers of clothing as the night rolled on, and by the end of the show he was dripping in sweat. The closing moments featured the lyrics of Ludacris’ “How Low Can You Go” set to the unmistakable beat of “Pony” by Ginuwine and a balloon drop that was synchronized with John Lennon’s “Imagine,” and at the end of the day, the message of Lennon’s 1970 hit encapsulates what a Girl Talk show should be all about: Forgetting about all the bullshit that going on in the world, letting go of the things that are bothering you, embracing one another, and having a good time.