Girl Talk at Congress Theater, Chicago, IL

The enthusiasm for Girl Talk shows among the initiated has always been somewhere in the vicinity of stratospheric, and the number of initiated has continually grown in the year and a half since Gregg Gillis quit his day job.

House parties became college concerts, and college concerts became festival gigs. By the time GT made its way to Chicago’s Congress Theater last Saturday, the all-ages show had sold out two months in advance, guaranteeing it to be Gillis’ biggest headliner to date. But how do you put a show best suited for a room of 200 people into a packed, 4,000-person concert hall? Answer: put 200 on stage, and make the other 3,800 wish they were invited.

Girl Talk has turned laptop-generated live music into an art form, where the crowd is the art, and the form is the lack thereof. It’s a blast, but the most impressive part is that Girl Talk’s shows have blown up without getting watered down. Rather, the chaos has only increased as more and more props get added to the act: leaf-blowers, toilet-paper guns, and giant balloons in the shape of “G” and “T” thrown off the stage into the frenetic Chicago crowd.

But at its core, Girl Talk is about mashed-up dance music. Gregg Gillis has taken the mashup as far as it can go in terms of outright funkiness, because normally if you find 14-year olds bouncing to Rod Stewart, you’re in some sort of parallel universe. It’s all in good fun, and Gillis’s skills and ear for what goes well with what hasn’t gotten lost in the giant party Girl Talk has become.

The New York Times called Girl Talk a “lawsuit waiting to happen”, but until it does, the party is going to continue. At this point, that lawsuit would only trigger some sort of revolution anyway.