As always at Sokol, it was a damn cold night outside, but a steaming hot one inside.
The reason this time? Girl Talk. The mash-up artist extraordinaire (or whatever you want to call him) threw out the beats for about an hour.
It was a UNO-sponsored thing, so there were a lot of college students. But the general public was also allowed to buy tickets, too.
Girl Talk (real name Gregg Gillis) does what he does better than anyone else. I've seen Hood Internet and the other groups who do the same thing and, while they're fun and good, they're no Girl Talk.
He drops beats, melodies and vocal samples together (without stopping) with ease. Everyone dances. The stage is flooded with people. Gillis jumps around like a crazy man. So does a guy in a monkey mascot costume.Confetti fills the air. Balloons flying around. Toilet paper everywhere.
Pretty impressive for a nerdy-looking white dude who used to be a biomedical engineer.
While my girlfriend, Ashlee, and I had a blast dancing the night away, it wasn't quite the same as Girl Talk's Slowdown performance a little over a year ago. At Sokol, the big (sold-out) crowd pressed to the stage and smashed us into the people around us. At Slowdown awhile ago, everyone had their space to dance around and go nuts freely.
Plus Slowdown just gives off the feeling of a dance club. Sokol Auditorium, which may technically be a polka dance hall, isn't really the same atmosphere.
Still, it was a blast. He's got a host of tour dates coming up next year, including Chicago on March 4, Minneapolis on March 8 and Denver on March 11. Those are the closest to Omaha.
This is an odd note, but there was no booze that night. The bar at Sokol was cleaned out, which I found odd. I never found out if it was a Sokol thing or a request of the UNO folks who booked the show, but it would have been a good show to knock back a few sodas and let loose.
Pretty sure that a lot of the gathered audience didn't let the absence of booze for purchase stop them because there were quite a few whose sway was due more to liquor and the music.
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While you can, head over to Girl Talk's label website, Illegal Art, to download his latest LP, "All Day," for free.
[Update: I've been having trouble downloading the tracks, probably because of the traffic on Illegal Art's site. It was supposed to be a one-day-only thing, but it's still up at the site. Anyway, good luck. It's probably going to take you a few tries.]
Also, you can read my 2009 interview/story with Gillis.
[Update 2: I used one of the mirrors listed on the download site and it worked fine. Think that's the best solution.]