Girl talk teaches Montreal how to Rage

Girl Talk, aka Gregg Gillis, is a 26-year-old DJ/mash-up-maniac/remixer/riot-starting party-performance-artist from Pittsburgh. Having enjoyed success with his 2006 release Night Ripper, Gillis seemed poised to emerge from the blog-house, underground hype, you-should-have-been-there cult party phenomenon set and onto greener pastures.
Gone are the days of party DJs like Mark Ronson being able to satisfy a crowd with an unimaginative mash-up of AC/DC meeting Dr. Dre. We all want instant gratification, and we want varied doses thereof before we get tired of the first serving. Gillis knows this very well, because he’s smart, very smart. Being able to take over 250 pop songs from a multitude of genres, record them, rearrange them, and put them onto a mix CD with your name on it without getting sued is genius. He does this with the help of a clause in American copyright law called Fair Use, which allows him to use samples from Radiohead, 2 Live Crew, Lil’ John, Nirvana and The Beatles – all mixed within 30 seconds of a song – transcending genres, generations, and pop music itself.
When Girl Talk took the stage at Montreal’s Metropolis on Thursday, it very quickly became obvious that his ingenuity translates into money in the bank, and asses in constant motion.
After getting over the shock of the sheer number of people and the implications of his success, it was the music and the stage that became the focus – you simply couldn’t take your eyes off of it. About 75 people ended up on the stage dancing with him, all in front of a massive projection screen flashing images of marijuana leaves, Barack Obama and psychedelic GT logos. It looked like the reincarnation of a rave circa 2001, only this time around designer drugs are dead, and the glo-sticks are ostensibly ironic.
There were beach balls being flung all over the place and two people up on stage blowing multi-coloured confetti with leaf-blowers, each dressed for a belated Halloween party. Then, Gillis: soaked in sweat, constantly moving, shaking, dancing, tweaking, mixing, crowd-hyping, fist-pumping and head nodding. You could tell he was enjoying himself and probably doesn’t mind leaving behind a comparatively dull career in biomedical engineering.
Besides dodging the flailing limbs of crowd-surfers, most people were pre-occupied with dancing, while trying to keep-up with Gillis. He managed to quickly take his eyes off of his laptop, to grab the microphone and shout-out Concordia; evoking a huge response from the students in attendance, then returned to the music without missing a beat. The crowning moment of the show was at the end, where Gillis was clapping his hands while dancing on top of a table, dressed only in his underwear – ladies and gentlemen, that is a real party DJ.


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