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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Girl Talk @ Marquette University

April 20, 2010

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There was something amusingly ironic about Tuesday night’s Girl Talk show at Marquette University. Maybe it was the Jesuit university students singing, “I love having sex but I’d rather get some head,” and then returning to their strictly enforced visitor policy dormitories. Or maybe it was the fact the show was on the same day potheads everywhere were wishing each other “happy holidays” and taking hits.

While Tuesday’s performance offered everything you would expect of mash-up phenomenon Girl Talk, including a crowd that resembled the aftermath of an American Apparel explosion, the university venue show was quite different from a usual open-venue show.

The last time Girl Talk’s Gregg Gillis was sweat-glued to his laptop in Milwaukee was election night 2008, and Turner Hall Ballroom was a sardine-packed can of neon-tastic Milwaukee hipsters with PBRs in hand. The crowd at that show was familiar with Girl Talk, understood he was one guy and not a group, had a sense of the party they were in store for—and unlike the Marquette students on Tuesday, they understood crowd surfing is out of the question at a mash-up dance-a-thon show like Girl Talk’s.

The show was in perfect timing with Marquette’s recent distinction by Playboy magazine as the Best Catholic Party School. Tuesday’s show at Marquette’s Alumni Memorial Union drew inebriated freshmen girls and dazed and confused students who took advantage of the day’s “holiday.” It also hosted hostility, which radiated from those who weren’t aware that one of the key ingredients to a Girl Talk show is simply letting loose and having fun.


Gillis has been traveling from university to university as of late, performing his hodgepodge mash-ups that mix the most innocent, teen-bop of songs to the crudest and heaviest rap. One second you’re singing along to “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson and the next you could be singing, “What’s Your Fantasy?” by Ludacris. Gillis did an utterly sublime job of intermixing songs recognizable from his previous albums such as “My Drink ’n’ My 2 Step” with newer songs such as “Tik Tok” and “Rude Boy.” The show affirmed Gillis’ ability to mix old with the new, and to keep up with the ever-changing charts.

Some critiques resonating from attendees include the show’s short duration, which only ended up being close to an hour. But for the $15 price tag on tickets, an hour’s worth of innovation and mash-up perfection is nothing to complain about. Time flies when you’re having fun, especially when it’s with the kingpin of the mash-up.

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