I still remember the amount of excitement I felt when I bought my ticket to Girl Talk back in February of 2020. I also remember the heartbreak when the pandemic took hold of the live music industry and postponed the show…. twice. And then, the night before I was supposed to finally see this show last month, it was postponed yet again. Honestly, I wasn’t even sure the show was ever going to happen so, although, beyond excited as I walked into the legendary First Avenue Mainroom on Friday night, I was cautious as not to jinx anything in any possible way.
Getting the night started with a thirty-minute opening set was local rapper Drelli. With his signature “Swag Bop” style, Drelli definitely got the crowd moving and prepared for what else was to come. His “Swag Bop” sound is a fun mix of hip-hop and dance– basically, sounds that will absolutely make you bop around as he’s performing. Although his set was really short and the anticipation for the headliner was palpable throughout the audience, Drelli held his own and surely got some new followers with his flawless performance.
I’m not typically one for DJs. I always question what they are doing when performing live. Call me a pessimist but I’m sure there are some DJs who just get up on stage, press the space bar on their computer, and then just let the tracks play while they pretend like they are working hard to mix the beats and make the magic. Although I really hope that Girl Talk is not one of those DJs, I truly do not know but that will never stop me from going to see him live. There’s just something about the way that Gregg Gillis (Girl Talk’s real name) mixes his sounds together to create something completely infectious and overly fun that will keep me coming back for me.
I’ve been a huge fan of Girl Talk for years. I’ve always admired his way of mashing up familiar songs to create an unfamiliar vibe (or at least unfamiliar to me). From Miley Cyrus to Ludacris to Black Sabbath to Elton John, there is not an untouchable act or style for Gregg and I have always truly admired that. It made his music accessible to people like me who would not typically be in the DJ scene of things. I’ve tried listening to other DJs but they just don’t do it for me like Girl Talk does and being able to hear and experience those distinctive mashups at my home away from home surrounded by hundreds of other excited fans made for a night that I will never forget.
Beyond the music is the live show that Girl Talk brings with him. As the lights went on to reveal the stage, it was almost hard to spot Gregg. He was surrounded by fans and jumped into his hour and a half long set surrounded by fans dancing around him. On top of that was the endless stream of toilet paper, confetti, balloons, and inflatables that flew from the stage into the audience. Although it added nothing to the music and actually became a bit of a hazard as I tried to get a few pictures from the photo pit, it absolutely added to the atmosphere of the show and made it unforgettable. With the bass pumping loud enough to make you aware of your hair vibrating with the beat to the constant cheering and screaming from the sold-out crowd that came with every fun sample thrown into the mix, it was like sensory overload in the best way possible. The dancing, the flashing lights, the balloons– to say that Friday night’s set was a party would be a huge understatement.
I don’t know what songs Girl Talk performed as I’ve never been one for song titles and, beyond that, I only recognize certain tracks based off of the samples they contain but I can tell you that standing there and listening took me back to my teenage years when Girl Talk was all I would listen to. If I’m being completely honest, I don’t spend much time listening to Girl Talk these days. Maybe it’s because it makes me long for his live shows and just listening to his music at home isn’t enough for me or maybe it’s just a bit too chaotic for me when I’m trying to get work done at home. Regardless, after seeing him perform, all I want to do is listen to Girl Talk non-stop from here on out.