Greg Gillis, brought his too many samples to count, not-quite-mashup musical experiment he calls Girl Talk, to the Fox Theatre in Oakland last Friday, March 18. The sold-out show was slow to fill up due to the intense weather rocking the bay that evening, but you couldn’t tell from the scant amount of clothing on most of the underage kids that got there noticeably early to show off in front of the stage.
Girl Talk’s stage presence has come a long way since the days of a simple card table and some inflatable furniture. This time he’s upgraded to an LED-blasting table mounted with huge monitors and backed with an even larger LED background screen that would flash images of Gillis, tacos, bunnies and a plethora of other blinding visual stimuli all night. Gillis is pretty tied to the computer throughout the evening but he makes up for that with his sideshow.
The usual gaggle of eager young females and a few concerned boyfriends crowded the stage to dance for the duration of the set. A man rocking a Girl Talk basketball jersey came out blasting the audience with a toilet paper roll shooter. Balloons were passed and popped resulting in mini confetti explosions everywhere. Gillis stayed pretty true to the nostalgia-inducing material of his recent release All Day while making his trademark on-the-fly additions that make each show unique.
Big Boi’s “Shutterbug,” Too Short’s “Blow the Whistle,” and 2 Live Crew’s “Pop that Pussy” mixed up with the Darkness’ “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” were all highlights that drew a huge reaction from the packed dance fest on the floor. U2 followed by Lady Gaga followed by Soulja Boy followed by Rage Against The Machine combined with endless supply of choice clips in Girl Talk’s epic music archive is what the crowd came for and they were not disappointed. His execution was flawless and even jaw dropping when you catch small snippets of samples you almost missed. By the end of the night, Gillis was a head-banging shirtless sweat machine grinning from ear to ear.
-Written and Photos by Eric Lawson