"There were doubters that said we couldn't do this show in a theatre with chairs," Gregg Gillis (a.k.a. Girl Talk) shouted to the sold-out audience on Saturday night. "But we vanquished the room and we vanquished the seats."
True statement. Regardless of the pit-less Gaillard Auditorium setting, Girl Talk killed it. The pulsing, neon-hued masses danced their pants off. Literally. A swarthy young gentleman just two rows ahead of me was so mesmerized by the remix fantasia he dropped his Levi's for the final set. Now that's proof positive of a damn good show.
Say what you will about Gillis and his copyright infringed art; the man can make a mix. If anything, his show could very well be the template for a new era of music — one that perfectly addresses the demands of children of the digital revolution ... kids who've grown up with every option imaginable at their fingertips via the internet. Why hear just one hit song when you can hear 10-in-one, blended together?
Gillis was right about the doubters though. Prior to the show, some chatted about the seat issue and the fact that Girl Talk is in all actuality just a man with a laptop. How could that possibly be a fun concert? The answer? Apparently, if you add enough hyper-color pyrotechnics, anything can be fun.
Girl Talk producers have overcome the a man, a plan, a laptop stigma by giving the concert a '90s-era MTV spring break vibe. Wacky, waving, inflatable tubes showered the audience with confetti. Oversized beach balls were tossed into the crowd. A giant screen blasted images of the audience overlaid with rough clip art. The result was a non-stop video that looked like one hell of an ad for successful orthodontia. The whole night was like Dance Party USA with better dental.
The dress code for the show was a studied look: Ironic glasses, glitter, fanny packs, and off-the-shoulder t-shirts. Visors and tank tops were on everyone, perhaps as a nod to the '80s, a decade the majority of the audience never experienced. It was a little surreal to see all in the Gaillard, home to showcases from the symphony and Spoleto, although the older docents were extremely helpful with the event and managed to overlook the racy American Apparel couture. That is until the song, "Let Me See" started blasting the lyrics, "Pop that pussy, shake those titties." One couldn't help but think the docents were judging.
Gillis played for at least an hour and half straight without stopping. By the end of the show, he was dripping in sweat. Shirtless, he mounted his computer cube and thanked the crowd. But the hungry masses were not satiated.
"Alright," Gillis said, "We were going to finish the show, but, Charleston, think we can do one more minute?" A fit of ecstasy pulsed through the crowd in approval. He reached down to his glowing laptop once more. "You might remember this one from my album Night Ripper," he said. The crowd shook with applause, the dude in front of me tore off his trousers and I threw my hands in the air like I just didn't care. Night officially ripped.