For Girl Talk, bigger isn’t always better

3 09 2009

Girl Talk

It’s hard to agree with those that lament their favorite lesser-known musicians for “selling out;” the quality of their work rarely takes a hit, nor should the listener’s emotional connection be impacted if more of their non-indie peers pay attention.

Alas, watching Gregg Gillis’ performance at the Virgin Mobile FreeFest this past Sunday makes you wonder if those naysayers are on to something after all.

Girl Talk thrives in controlled chaos. The rapid-fire sampling of Night Ripper and Feed The Animals barely allow any sort of sensory recovery after joyously thrusting hit on top of hit. It’s recognizable, calculated and well-planned party anarchy that always feels larger than it should.

The problem is that when the venue matches the mash-ups’ grandiose scope, all that glitters is not gold. What makes Girl Talk Live so damn enjoyable is allowing yourself to be swallowed by the samples and dance energetically awkward. In smaller venues (and on the albums), this energy is contained, more concentrated. When blasted into a sea of people, it’s harder to grab ahold of, or be taken ahold of by.

It’s great that Gillis is enjoying the success that he is; while some may call him a gimmick act, that act is nothing if not a crowd pleaser. If that audience was just a tad smaller at his shows, all would be just peachy.

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One response

3 09 2009
e

every band playing that festival would have been better at a smaller club

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