Live: Girl Talk at Fillmore Miami, May 19

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Girl Talk

With Max Tundra

Fillmore Miami, Miami Beach

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Click here to see a slideshow of the Girl Talk show courtesy of Miami New Times.

Better than: Expected. By a lot.

The idea of Girl Talk at the Fillmore Miami doesn't seem to work. As a performer Gregg Michael Gillis is famously at home planted in the middle of a dancefloor behind his turntables, with throngs of sweaty people dancing about and grinding up on him. The Fillmore ain't no disco, and watching a DJ play fun music on stage seemed like a boring idea. Gillis anticipated all this and more than made up for the disconnection from the crowd by well, bringing the some of the crowd on stage and making sure that his presence was felt in the crowd.

Opener Max Tundra greeted the brotherhood of ravers, dudes and hipsters like an awkwardly friendly neighbor. His stiff dance moves got less and less rigid as his Nintendo and '90s-inspired techno set progressed. He got wild and loose and he started to unbutton his neat plaid shirt. Just as his set was getting great he sung a few lines from the Sound Of Music classic "So Long, Farewell," letting us know he was on his merry way.

A few minutes later, a chopped and screwed tempo was blaring over the PA, chanting "Girl Talk. Girl Talk..." the beat sped up as the flood lights bathed the crowd and he was instantly rocking "Oh No" from his latest effort, All Day. Like we said before, we worried that Girl Talk's set wouldn't work with such a large crowd. Like we said before, Gillis made it work.

His partners in crime, a couple of dudes in basketball jerseys, got on stage and were shooting toilet paper into the audience. This was the first of many things thrown into the face of the crowd. Later on the hall was blasted with confetti, regular balloons, giant balloons filled with confetti, beach balls, tubes filed with helium balloons, tubes filled with air and more balloons.

The show, er, party felt like a non-stop New Year's Eve countdown and the enthusiasm and joy never let up. It was like a blizzard of confetti. It was an avalanche of balloons. It was a joyous blast, and everyone was having the best time. Security looked the other way when people lit up their green cigarettes.

The music was a perfectly executed mix of songs everyone loves with songs not everyone has heard and instantly loved. He flowed seamlessly from genre to genre, never sounding clunky or impatient.

Girl Talk's brilliance lies in the marriage fun music, crowd interaction and taking the focus off of the performer and into the party.

Gillis would stand on the turntables from time to time and salute the crowd, but most people weren't even looking his way. They were fighting off balloons, dodging elbows and enjoying a really long sweaty moment.

Critic's Notebook

The crowd: dressed in cutoffs, glow in the dark t-shirts, headbands and glow in the dark headbands.

Overheard: Guy on phone "I opened up a bunch of Diet Cokes earlier and really wished they were beers."

Incomplete List of Artists Sampled by Girl Talk

Black Sabbath, Ludacris, Ramones, Billy Idol, Busta Rhymes, Fugazi, 50 Cent, Rihanna, Ace of Base, Lil Wayne, the Verve, Gucci Mane, Guns N' Roses, Jay-Z, Missy Elliot, Ol' Dirty Bastard, U2, TImbaland, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, New Order, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Daft Punk, Belinda Carlisle, Black Eyed Peas, Smashing Pumpkins, Kanye West, Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock, Le Tigre, the Cars, Roy Orbison, Information Society, Pitbull, Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Bon Jovi, Kelly Clarkson, Nine Inch Nails, James Brown, Peter Bjorn and John, Van Halen, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Trick Daddy, Trina, Arcade Fire, AC/DC, Tyler the Creator, Rolling Stones, Modern English, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Weezer, Outkast, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, 2Pac, Mike Jones, Rick Ross, Radiohead, Birdman, Beatles, Pixies and possibly hundreds more.

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