Lovers Lane
Copernicus Center

Girl Talk live!

| October 1, 2012

Don’t waste your money on a gym membership. Just check out a Girl Talk show if you’re looking to trim those love handles. Mash-up king Gregg Michael Gillis runs his Technicolor confetti-strewn sets like an extended spinning class. He even dresses the part in a sweatband that’s definitely more function than fashion. At a North Coast Fest-eve stop at the Congress Theater earlier this month, the fit-as-a-fiddle button pusher burned enough calories to warrant a week’s worth of midnight excursions to Lincoln Park’s Wiener Circle.

Spending an hour or two watching Gillis at work is exhausting. Sure, he’s only utilizing his phalanges to manipulate the way everything from Guns N’ Roses’ “November Rain” to Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle” to 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” trades DNA to form completely new dance-ready anthems, but the rest of body runs on total and complete reflex. If the blitzed-out crowd can’t keep still, how is he expected to rein it in?

The key to enjoying the Girl Talk experience lies in constant movement. And if another violates your personal space to ignite a little friction – all the better. The brain needs a constant supply of stimuli (be it from the bump-and-grinder to your left, seizure-inducing strobe lights or a New Years Eve-worthy balloon drop) to deflect the absence of actual instruments. No doubt, Gillis creates mystifying aural equivalents of photomosaics and guessing the name of and artists responsible for the sample he’s tacking on next is like playing a game of Trivial Pursuit at warp speed.

In a matter of minutes, Gillis plucks earworms from Tag Team’s “Whoomp! There It Is,” Deee-Lite’s “Groove Is In The Heart,” Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone,” Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl,” and The Isley Brothers’ “Shout.” Yet, despite its wedding-reception-on-fast-forward delights, the show loses its sheen when your arms start caring too much to wave, your hips wouldn’t pass a lie detector test, and Daniel Day-Lewis drank up your milkshake hours ago.

— Janine Schaults

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Category: Featured, Live Reviews, Weekly

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