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« Chicago (and the Region) at SXSW 2011 - Bands & Showcases Some of That Ol' Flamenco Magic »

Review Mon Mar 07 2011

Review: Girl Talk @ Congress Theater 3/5/11

Photos by Steve Stearns

Greg Gillis has a sweet gig and you'd be hard pressed to find anyone to argue that point. Every night is a party for Gillis —performing under the pseudonym Girl Talk — and he's always at the center of it. Gillis has been dominating the world of mash-up — a genre that he helped to create — for almost 7 years now. On Nov. 15, 2010, Girl Talk surprised everyone in the best way by releasing All Day, the DJs newest album — released for free download (via Illegal Art) with no prior advertising.

This weekend Girl Talk made his triumphant return to Chicago. GT has played some legendary shows here in the past, so it's no surprise that he was able to sell out the 4,000-person-capacity Congress Theater two nights in a row.

Photos by Steve Stearns

Boasting a giant LED wall that made for an impressive light show and spinning cuts from both his newest album and previous efforts, Saturday's show was very true to form for Girl Talk. The lack of multiple band members or instruments would typically make for a fairly bare stage, however Gillis combats any on-stage loneliness with an invitation to the crowd to join him. Girl Talk plays his entire sets surrounded by a mob of tireless, sweaty, dancing concert-goers.

Photos by Steve Stearns

However, in a recent interview with the Sun-Times, Gillis admitted that once the shows started getting bigger, the need for increased crowd control presented itself. Invites to dance it out onstage are now randomly given out to a limit of 50 attendees before GT's set begins. In the past, concert goers have had the option of freely hopping on and offstage throughout the show, but when a room of 4,000 hyped up (and, in many cases, intoxicated) ticket holders are all clamoring for the chance to rub shoulders with the headliner it's not hard to fathom why a more controlled approach might become necessary.

Photos by Steve Stearns

That's not to say Girl Talk is getting too big for his fans though. Saturday's show had a very communal feel to it. Everyone was dancing, singing along to the vocal samples Gillis mixed in and having a good — likely even great — time.

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Ben / March 9, 2011 10:52 AM

that's funny; i heard a lot of people were frustrated that he only played for just a bit over an hour or so.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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