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Tour Review: Girl Talk

posted June 28, 2011, 12:51 pm by Ben Oliver | Filed Under Editorial, General Interest, Live Show Reviews | comment Leave a Comment

Tags: Girl Talk, Cool Kids, The Cool Kids

What better way could there be to spend trying to cool off on a blistering summer night than with a really cold Slurpee? That was the feeling last Thursday night with a party sponsored by Slurpee and 7-11, featuring buzz worthy artist and DJ extraordinaire, Girl Talk. Gregg Gillis, better known as the infamous Girl Talk (GT), is a 30 year old from Pittsburgh who makes mashing classic hip-hop tracks and some of your favorite rock jams into a new art form. His swift ascent to the top of pop culture has been accelerated by the strong word of mouth generated from his legendary live shows.

A master sampler and producer, Greg has luckily been able to somehow escape litigation, unlike Danger Mouse and The Grey Album. His unique talent lies in his innate ability to hear something spectacular and then create it, using popular music as a palette. While nearly everyone has heard two songs mashed up together, GT will sometimes use a dozen or more samples in one song. Like much of today’s emerging indie scene, this postmodern sound refuses classification as it seeks to create a new genre of genre less music.

The Granada Theater in Dallas had no difficulty selling out, especially when tickets were only $7.11! I wouldn’t be surprised if the event had sold well regardless of price, considering Palladium Ballroom also sold out the last time he stopped through town last fall. The auditorium began filling up early, the majority ready to celebrate and participate in what could be the largest party of the summer. Making the night even better was opening act The Cool Kids. This hip-hop duo from the north have been working hard and gaining credibility where it matter most: among both fans and critics alike. In the process along the way, they have collaborated with Lil Wayne, Yelawolf, Ludacris, and Curren$y. They effortlessly gained rapport with those gathered almost immediately. They paced back and forth across the stage with as much swag as they could muster. And if the crowd size and response is any indication, The Cool Kids seem to have the potential and poise that precedes a successful career. My bet is they will be around for quite some time to come, so check them out if you haven’t yet. Their new record When Fish Ride Bicycles should drop in a couple of weeks.

The few minutes between the end of The Cool Kids and the beginning of GT felt like time had suddenly grinded to a halt. The burgeoning anticipation in the theater felt like it couldn’t get any more intense when the lights finally dimmed. The black darkness of the room was then magically transformed into party central as GT magically appeared on stage! Before starting his set, Greg mentioned how unique the event was and how unusual it was for him to revisit our city so soon since his last stop here. He also congratulated the new NBA champion Dallas Mavericks, then quickly jumped behind his laptop. The party then kicked off in high gear, Girl Talk style: giant inflatable balls, staggering strobe lights, toilet paper launchers, stage dancers, confetti filled balloons, and nearly mind numbing bass. Before the show, I had watched many live performances on YouTube. Although I knew what to expect, I still couldn’t decide on where to position my self for the best photo and video angles. The electrically charged atmosphere was a paradise of pandemonium. There were bodies, and limbs, and dancing, and objects flying in the air everywhere the eye could see. I would compare having to write an objective review of this show to a journalist having to report in the midst of a tornado.

Anyone great at what they do will certainly have opposition. As with any other group, GT attracts both curiousity and controversy. My only disappointment was that from watching footage online beforehand, I was given the impression that the stage dancers were spontaneous. These seemed to have been pre-screened before the show, or perhaps traveled as part of the road crew. One complaint I have heard is that GT isn’t a real musician. Someone even asked me point blank “was it a concert, or just a DJ?” That’s a valid question. As best as I can determine, the answer lies somewhere in between. The GT experience is an intriguing, enticing form of entertainment, whatever you choose to call it.


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