So in the battle for the night of July 31 st between Opus One Productions (Girl Talk Concert) and Joker Productions (Neko Case concert) it seems as if the final tactical maneuver on behalf of Opus One has rendered the Neko Case show (in my opinion anyway) obsolete.
Opus One (most likely at the behest of Mr. Greg Gillis) has proceeded to gather arguably the greatest collection of Pittsburgh-based talent on one bill in years. In addition to the illustrious Girl Talk, the lineup will include Wiz Khalifa, Don Caballero, Donora, Grand Buffet, The Modey Lemon, and Centipede Eest peforming together at the Ampitheater at Station Square on July 31st at 6:00 pm.
The combination of The Modey Lemon, Grand Buffet and Don Caballero alone, who are all Pittsburgh legends respectively but played very few local shows as of late, has me frothing at the mouth. And of course, anyone who has ever attended a Girl Talk concert knows what that means. Mr. Gillis’ victory lap last fall at Gravity Nightclub was one for the ages, complete with a New Year’s-like blanket of black and gold balloons, a large projection screen shooting up an elaborate collage of Pittsburgh sports iconography, and more high school kids than anyone could have possibly imagined.
Girl Talk was the first Pittsburgh-based artist I decided to write about. When Night Ripper hit my iPod in the fall of 2006, which was passed onto me by a friend of mine at Princeton’s WPRB, I did a number of things. First, I frantically shoved the record in front of every member of my college soccer team, five of whom I lived with, desperately explaining how this guy, Greg Gillis, came from Pittsburgh and was the DJ equivalent of Batman (at the time of the record’s release Gillis was working at a still unnamed Pittsburgh- based chemical engineering company, repeatedly escaping the white collar grind to play riotous weekend gigs across the northeast, all while his co-workers were none the wiser).
Second, I came to the obvious conclusion that Night Ripper must become a pregame, house party, and late night dance session staple, simply because the album possessed an unparalleled ability to pitch the most disparate group of people into a dancing fervor. Most importantly, I realized that Greg Gillis’ taste for popular music was unrivaled by any DJ working today. Yes, while his technical prowess is impressive, (I read somwhere he crafted his albums, most averaging 200+ samples, using only a wave editor and a calculator) his keen ear for brilliant mash up combinations has taken a genre previously maligned as a mere novelty to an entirely different, challenging level. A simple list of his most famous combinations will cement this fact: The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony” – Ying Yang Twins’ “The Whisper Song,” The Spencer Davis Group’s “Gimme Some Lovin” – UGK ‘s “International Player’s Anthem,” Metallica’s “One” – Lil Mama’s “Lip Gloss,” and last but not least, Notorious B.I.G.’s “Juicy” – Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer.”
With such a strong line up of groups leading to the explosion of pure, unmitigated fun that is a Girl Talk live show, I am convinced this will easily become the party of the summer.