Sweaty and full of confetti: Girl Talk and Smoke Screen turn Public Hall into a giant party
Cleveland Public Hall held prolific concerts back in the day. Its concert bills boasted acts like The Beatles, Madonna, The Rollings Stones and more. But Saturday 2,300 fans shuffled in to see a different type of artist: Girl Talk.
Girl Talk, a mash-up DJ and the Cleveland hip-hop duo, Smoke Screen, kicked off a week full of events leading up to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony. And recently, Gregg Gillis, a.k.a. Girl Talk, had his plastic-covered laptop and sneakers put on display at the Rock Hall. Not bad for a DJ.
Before the house tunes were killed, Smoke Screen’s beats began blasting as the duo rushed the stage rapping to kick things off before the lights even dimmed down. I can only imagine they were as excited to party as the rest of the crowd was, and they definitely brought that energy to the stage. With their DJ Urbindex on the 1′s and 2′s, “Mooke” and “The Chemist” spouted off rhymes reminiscient of the old school hip hop days when people would rap about more than bitches and money. The duo played their latest track “Ice Cold Water,” which is available for download over at their bandcamp right now, so go cop it. They also played one of my favorites, “Super x Mega x Sonic,” and “Blacklights & Flashlights.” These guys are on the prowl, and if they’re not on your radar they will be now.
As a Girl Talk chant broke out, Gillis pounced on his DJ table and asked the town whether they were ready for him or not — a rhetorical question of course, seeing how we’d been yelling his name for the past five minutes. Looking around at that moment the crowd seemed calmer than expected, but the minute he jumped down and dancers and concertgoers rushed the stage, the party erupted much like the confetti explosion we saw later. And so the nonstop party onslaugt ensued. Armed with leaf blowers, Girl Talk’s party aides covered the crowd with toilet paper and water, and occasionaly were kind enough to give us a blast of air to cool us off.
After getting toilet paper shot at my face and air blown through my hair, the party was on for me. I’ve said this since the show and I’ll say it again: I feel like I got my ass beat that night. Girl Talk’s set started around 10 p.m., and I was hoping it would go into the wee hours of the morning, but I had to remember this wasn’t like Bonnaroo which is the only other place I’ve seen Gillis play. Still, about two hours of dancing to an ADD mash of music history is enough to whoop some of the hardest partiers.
But if that’s my only complaint, then it was a damn good night. He mashed all of the usual suspects from Night Ripper, the album that lended the biggest boost to his popularity. He also played a hefty amount of tracks from Feed the Animals and All Day. It was time to “Set It Off.”
If you caught that pun, you know what happened next: A storm of confetti, balloons and many other inflatables were tossed around the crowd throughout the set which ended around 11:45.
Daniel over at ONWRD/UPWRD Photography captured these moments of pure party bliss on camera for Nasty Fancy. You can check out some more photos over at his Facebook.