A party pro on all fronts, Pittsburgh’s Girl Talk (a.k.a. Gregg Gillis) has taken aim at creating a live DJ happening like no other with a full-blown concert filled with remixed pop gems, eye-popping visuals and a giant gun that shoots toilet paper. Yes, toilet paper.
“I’ve never even considered myself a DJ in the traditional sense,” Gillis says in a phone interview. “Even at the earliest shows, the original kind of concept was to put on a spectacle of a show based around me and a laptop.”
If you’ve ever had the privilege of taking in a Girl Talk set, you know that Gillis is not your average DJ. Formerly a biomedical engineer, Gillis has made a name for himself over the past few years with his addictive mashed-up recipes. His fourth album, 2008’s Feed the Animals, even placed on multiple “best-of” lists. Now on tour for his most recent LP, All Day, Gillis is evolving his formula with a few new tricks.
“For a while the kind of spectacle was inviting people onstage and really engaging the audience coming and going,” Gillis says. “And now on the newest tour [we] have 12 people traveling with us, and there’s a set design, and then the big LED wall, a lighting guy, specific lights and custom-software people and all this different stuff.” The laptop-mad scientist wants to give fans a legit concert experience. “The whole goal is to make new music out of old music,” Gillis says. “So it’s the same thing in the shows. It’s all remixes, mash-ups … and it’s presented like a concert.”
Gillis couldn’t be happier with where he’s landed at this point in his career. “I never anticipated for it to get to this level at all, but in a weird way, it is like kinda of a natural evolution from where it started.” Girl Talk with Max Tundra and Junk Culture, 9 p.m. (doors 8 p.m.) March 25 at the Boulevard Pool at Cosmopolitan, $25, 698-7778.