Flashback to Saturday July 14th, 2012 in Louisville, KY. It was my first encounter with Forecastle Festival (or any festival, for that matter), which if you’re into live music, is like the pride of Kentucky. This is under the same tent of organizers as Bonnaroo, and they’ve really grown their reach of people in the past few years. I went to the Saturday of the weekend because I had found out that both My Morning Jacket and Dr. Dog would be coming to Louisville (only under two hour drive away from my then residence). Basically a can’t miss for me. Little did I know, a show I consider one of the best I’ve been to would be someone I had never heard of. Girl Talk is the partying, toilet paper shooting, no shirt wearin’ former scientist who does his lab work with mixers live on stage these days. And his show was one of the best times I’ve had at a concert.
Girl Talk had a 9:15-10:30 slot and My Morning Jacket had the 9:30-midnight (ultimately 1 a.m.) slot, so my plan was to see the beginning of Girl Talk’s set then be at My Morning Jacket no later than 10. So 9:15 comes, and the speakers start chanting a slow sound that is almost too stretched out to distinguish. It’s repeating itself and gradually becoming faster: “Giiiiirlllll Taaaalllkk, Giiiiiiirrlll Taaalllk.” By the end of it, the crowd had chimed in and it was too fast to keep up with: “Girltalkgirltalkgirltalkgirltalk!!!” Then he runs out and the crowd, familiar with him unlike my simple curiosity, goes wild. He yells at everyone, “What the fuck is UP, FORECASTLE?!” Everyone goes nuts. Check out his entrance:
Not a minute in, a crowd selected from attendees in the crowd joins Girl Talk on stage along with the toilet paper gunmen. It was a full blown party right away, mixing Pimp C’s verse from ‘International Player’s Anthem’ with The Rolling Stones. That is the kind of great juxtaposition you can always expect at a Girl Talk show: incredible party atmosphere through unlikely pairings of music. At the time, Girl Talk was still touring off the success of his free All Day mixtape from 2010; he just has the flexibility to tour on and on by adding new mixes and flair to his set. Although I originally planned to only stay until 10, soon enough I was so caught up in the dancing and fun that I knew I’d stay for the full thing.
The two guys I went with and I had no idea what to expect and couldn’t have been more happily surprised. Distinctly I remember hearing his ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ mashup and us singing to it, then catching ourselves. We didn’t listen to Kelly Clarkson. What are we doing? That’s the magic of a Girl Talk show: screaming and yelling lyrics you may have even hated otherwise.
Thinking back, my memory has mostly become a blur of dancing, girls, and toilet paper. It was pretty early in my concert going, and at the time, it was the most fun I had ever had at a concert. And to this day, it definitely is still among the best, it’s just hard to say any more. I remember finally noticing the crazy amount I had sweated after the show because I’d had so much fun I just didn’t notice.
For a little more modern Girl Talk, you can check out his EP with Freeway, or at least check out their insane video below with Wacka Flocka Flame. If nothing else, keep an eye out for him, because it’s one of the best concert experiences ever.