Girl Talk dazzles crowd with high-energy display

Only Gregg Gillis could have the entire audience in a packed McDonald Theatre jumping wildly to his mashed-up music wearing nothing but a plain white T-shirt and blue sweatpants.
What he lacked in glitzy ensemble, Gillis made up for in crowd entertainment.

For an audience that chanted his stage name, Girl Talk, the anticipation grew to the maximum when the lights were dimmed and a stage assistant opened his two laptops. The crowd erupted when Gillis finally entered. And the energy stayed high through his entire two-hour performance.

The expectation was of an all-out dance party, but Girl Talk exceeded it. Inviting the crowd onstage with him, the dance floor was extended to include the area around his 2-by-6-foot folding table. Complete with raining confetti, giant inflated balloons in varying shapes and toilet-paper launchers crafted from leaf blowers, Wednesday’s Girl Talk show was a unique concert experience.

Nearly every transition was coupled with a burst from the audience as it recognized and sang along with the songs blaring from the speakers. Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” and Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” are just some of the songs the crowd sang and danced to, creating a sort of instant friendship with the erstwhile strangers pushed tightly next to them.

His eclectic music mixes embodied the wide-ranging music interests that he seemed to share with the audience.

Jumping on the table and bouncing to his own beat, Girl Talk addressed the crowd several times to show his appreciation for its involvement in the atmosphere — a necessary factor in his performance. “EUGENE!” is all he needed to shout to convey his excitement for the start of his Northwest tour.

Through his plain dress and sharing of the stage, Girl Talk’s performance offered a refreshing experience in the world of concerts. He set a high standard in his first Eugene performance. Playing a sold-out concert, leaving the crowd wanting more as it looked at its watches to find that an unbelievable two hours had passed, Gillis got off to a great start.

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