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As countless YouTube cell phone videos can attest, Girl Talk shows hold the infamous distinction of being entirely unpredictable. It’s the perfect music to get drunk and dance to, so the gigs themselves can turn into madness on both sides of the stage.
For SU grad student Alex Palmer, such extreme debauchery led to a personal gig in his fraternity’s basement.
When Palmer was an undergrad at St. Louis’ Washington University two years ago, he attended a Girl Talk gig where a student got so drunk that he took his clothes off and had to be restrained by security. The student was tasered, and event staff pulled the plug on the show with half an hour left to go.
Gregg Gillis, the infamous mash-up artist otherwise known by the stage name Girl Talk, then announced that the gig was cancelled, but asked the audience if there was anywhere he could take the show.
Immediately, Palmer and his fraternity brothers in Sigma Alpha Mu yelled, “SAMMY!”
In a pitch-perfect case of a musician leveling with his fans, Gillis took the party — and any willing attendees — to the basement of the SAE house. The opening band even tagged along.
“He showed up about an hour and a half later and set up his laptop on a table and plugged it into our speakers,” said Palmer. “Everybody was raging all around him. People were pretty much hanging on his shoulder, rooting him on, egging him on.”
Surrounded by about 100-150 kids dancing in a cramped basement, Gillis rocked back and forth in front of his computer as though he were in some sort of trance, said Palmer.
“Every show I do is crazy,” Gillis told MTV News after the incident, “and this one was no different.”
The intimate performance lasted until 2 in the morning, a little under two hours. After the show, Palmer stepped outside to have a cigarette only to see Gillis quietly conversing in a circle, surrounded some of the fraternity brothers. Unbefitting of the raging show that just occurred, Gillis was “doing a little talking, and a lot of listening,” recalled Palmer.
“It was like a classic college scene: No one standing still, people making out with their girlfriends, people shotgunning beers and crowd-surfing, all with the lights on the whole time,” Gillis later remarked.
“I hope someone has video of that show.”
— Charlie Weeks