Sweaty bodies jostled overhead as an entire room full of people throbbed, in sync, to the beat of the music. There were sweat bands and spandex, toilet paper rolls and a fog machine. Everyone was dancing like their life depended on it. The ringleader could be found on stage; stripped to the waist, dripping wet, and keeping up a steady side-to-side hip thrust while mixing the music we were all clamoring to hear.

Mash-up artist Gregg Gillis, better know as Girl Talk, put on an incredible show Monday night at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro. Known for his remixing of pop songs into a montage of great beats and instrumental interludes, Girl Talk did not disappoint the dance-crazy fans who awaited his arrival with much anticipation. The concert was a part of the “Feed the Animals” Tour, promoting his newest album, released in June. Girl Talk chose to use a pay-what-you-like digital release scheme, allowing access to the music via the internet for any amount you choose to donate.

Watching Girl Talk on stage, it is hard to imagine him working as a biomedical research engineer (his day-time profession before quitting in 2007 to focus on his music). The palpable euphoria in the air was worth every drink spilled on my shirt, every toe I had stepped on, and every swipe of perspiration from the avid dancers beside me. Tickets were $15 but the concert was sold out far in advance of the actual show.

Two groups preceded Girl Talk: the New York based alternative group Hearts of Darkness and Pittsburgh natives Grand Buffet, a hip-hop experimental rap group. The majority of the crowd was less than enthused with the first opener but Grand Buffet’s crude lyrics and humor won them the approval of the audience.

Cat’s Cradle is a permanent fixture in the life of a Chapel Hill student. It may not be conducive to huge crowds, but the dark and closed-in atmosphere makes the music more intense.  The venue is essentially one cramped room, if the house is packed, with a small bar at the back. The floor in front of the stage was unbearably crowded at the beginning of Girl Talk’s set, but Gillis managed crowd control smoothly by inviting people on stage. Not only was this an exhilarating opportunity for those that jumped at the chance, but it gave the rest of the groundlings room to shake, move and grind to their hearts’ content.

The concert may be over, but the chance to listen to this innovative artist is not. Check out “Feed the Animals” and please make a donation, however much you can spare, to support dance parties everywhere.

By Madeleine Clark

For a previous Blue & Whitin’ post on Girl Talk.