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March 19, 2011
Fox Theater Pomona
's sold out show at the Fox Theater Pomona
was one massive dance party, '90s-MTV-spring-break-style, with hundreds of college-aged kids grinding on one another among balloons and giant beach balls filled with confetti. Gregg Gillis came out in his standard sweat shirt and headband and soon ended up shirtless and completely drenched in sweat from feeding on the crowd's through-the-roof energy. He was joined on the crammed stage by several dozen fans who danced and screamed along to hype up the crowd for the entire set (that's nearly two hours!).
The crowd didn't need much encouragement, though, as everyone freaked out as soon as they recognized a sample, which was about every five seconds, as Gillis' genius is in his extraction of the high points of everyone's favorite songs and smashing them together. Why hear one of your favorite songs when you can hear 10 expertly blended together at once?
The set started out with Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" crossed with Ludacris' "Move Bitch," as does the first track on his new album, All Day
, which broke the Interne
t with its release last year as a free download on his label Illegal Art
's website. Shortly after, he dialed in the Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop," which was one of the night's most popular clips.
The biggest freakout came with Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" crossed with Belinda Carlisle's "Heaven Is a Place on Earth," which triggered the release of a dozen plastic beach balls into the crowd. In addition to popular remixes from his albums, he worked in some crowd pleasers such as Radiohead's "Creep" and Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance." At various points in the show, loose balloons and giant bags full of balloons were dumped into the crowd, which got slightly scary when the bags got punctured and were weaving and tangling over the audience's heads.
Most impressive was the Girl Talk light show. Behind Gillis was a gigantic, geometric sculpture of LED lights with flashing text ("Make Some Noise," "LOUDER!") and an assortment of odd flat images (bananas, cats, monkeys, daggers, a cheap computer rendition of Stonehenge, even a side-by-side comparison of regular light bulbs and eco-friendly spiral bulbs) streaming across, with live footage of Gillis' jumping up and down in front of his laptop looped in. Say what you want about his music, but Girl Talk knows how to put on a show, and his fans know how to party.
I was prepared to have a shitty time after dealing with the theater's security; they were so slow, creating unnecessarily long lines, and yelling at everyone to throw away gum and lipstick.Thankfully, the show was good enough to overshadow all the annoyances of the venue.
The Crowd: Young and obviously very hyped to be at the show.
Overheard In the Crowd: Saw so many girls trying to sweet talk the light/sound guys into giving them wristbands to go into the pit before Girl Talk's set. Take note: "It's my 21st birthday!" doesn't get you a wristband; it only gets you laughed at.
Random Notebook Dump: Did one of the dancers onstage really take off his belt and start swinging it around and cracking it like a whip?