Live: Girl Talk And Matt & Kim And A Whole Bunch Of Suits Take Over Terminal 5

mattandkim_terminal5.jpg
@iamQuddus/Twitpic
Girl Talk/Matt & Kim
Terminal 5
Wednesday, August 24

Better than: Shuffling through Pandora while making spreadsheets.

Stories of Girl Talk's shows are legendary, passed down from one generation to another of college kids like Biblical messages from on high, hallelujah. They are the Bill Brasky of concerts, tall tales amplified in adjectives with each telling: onstage free-for-alls that recall a rave version of Plato's Retreat, a drug-fueled Technicolor Animal House, a life-changing balloon animal zoo with a Napster soundtrack. Feathers falling and glitter flying, sweat and drugs and rap and rock all smooshed into a Play-Doh container.

And so it's a shame that last night's Girl Talk show—my first—was as boring as it was. (It's my own fault for attending a heavily sponsored Girl Talk show, where the clientele arrived with shirts and lips buttoned; where a 45-year-old man in a blue plaid shirt stood in the middle of the hubbub and clapped so off-beat that after a while he was almost on-beat.) There were other problems: volume was low, as was attendance—the cavernous Terminal 5 has never felt so vast. The toilet paper, balloons, glitter bombs and inflatable pool toys thrown at us couldn't fix the lack of people, not even if we started molding them into trash snowmen.

Collars outnumbered bandanas by an honest ratio of about 100:1. (There were around 200 people in attendance.) A slicked-back blonde gentleman in khakis standing in the second-floor VIP section sprayed water on those below, giggling. What a dickhead.

This was a corporate retreat for many, an excuse to party like the weekend had landed on a Wednesday night. But party seemed to be in quotation marks. It all felt like a sanitized version of 2005 Brooklyn, a time capsule opened in another zip code. (That Girl Talk was shilling for Heineken and not, like, PBR? For the US Open, as opposed to curling or bowling? Well. $Yeah.) Dancers were herded onstage, spinning and stepping with effort—Wii Fit made live. If the only instruction was to just keep moving, then that was what they did. A bearded fellow put his hand in the air, the wrist limp. Two girls wore shutter shades, one of them grinding on a twink in boxer briefs and a Polo golf tee. I saw grown men fight over a balloon.

Greg "Girl Talk" Gillis is sort of fun to watch, arrhythmic spasms and all. His head bobs, sweat pours; he jumps onto his decks like Gollum, crouched on all fours. A friend said, "He usually strips to his underwear and jumps into the crowd." Thankfully, that didn't happen, or else he'd be paying someone's dry cleaning bill. (Not that there was anyone to catch him.) (Never mind.)

Girl Talk's playlist seemed catered to the crowd, pureeing recognizable rap lyrics (Kanye, 50, Ludacris) and obvious rock instrumentals (Ramones, Ozzy Osbourne). I found no surprises, except that he didn't use any Soulja Boy or Gucci Mane samples in his set. Whereas many in the crowd seemed to enjoy the irony of hearing Mash Out Posse blended with Miley Cyrus, I felt that the Sweet & Low riddims rendered "Ante Up" into mush. (Maybe they'd never heard it; maybe YouTube is blocked in their cubicle.) Still, there was some humor in putting "Bad Romance" with "Thriller," which caused members of the crowd to claw dance toward one another. Meta on meta on meta.

As an opening act, Matt & Kim were similarly minded, performing a run of covers in their short stage-time: "Jump On It," "Move Bitch," "Just a Friend." Black people music that whites could understand. (Also Alice DeeJay's "Better Off Alone," which fucking rang out.) Behind her bass drum, Kim flailed like Lloyd Christmas; she looked like she was running at an incredible rate. (Another analogy that works: Kim plays the drums like Animal.) Matt stood up from his piano bench, the anti-Karmin, Statue of Liberty posing while holding the sustain pedal. They seemed fun, like two Brooklynites who would be fun to hang out with on any other night.

Their smiles were wide, and so were their wallets. This was a night for closed-door advertising, a fact that the few people allowed in weren't allowed to forget. Kim stood up and challenged the those standing before her: "I have a game. For every song we play, you have to drink a Heineken!" Sure, that seems genuine and off-the-cuff. Girl Talk thanked Heineken, asked everyone to drink Heineken. Heineken, Heineken, Heineken.

Critical bias: For rap blends, I prefer DJ Green Lantern or, going back, DJ Ron G.

Overheard: "How did you end up with two balloons?"—some guy to a girl, after the show. She clutched them tight.

Random note dump: Last week, I finally got the chance to ask a Heineken PR rep why hot dogs have been served at every secret music show in New York this summer—theirs, as well as others'. He had no idea. Last night, for the first time, there were no hot dogs! For a few moments, though, a baby dressed up in a hot dog costume made it on the Jumbotron. (Girl Talk's graphic team basically resorted to using the After Effects screensaver program, all flashing text and GIFs and patterns and weirdo Photoshop jobs. I just wished it was all flying toasters.)

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5 comments
Patrick Ferris
Patrick Ferris

Yeah, I go to a lot of shows and this one was really fun. I agree withMark, the fact that Terminal 5 wasn't so full is a good thing. Youcould move freely and dance without elbowing someone in the face. Itook a friend with me who said it was one of the best shows he'd beento. Even though we're "whites" we have a good appreciation of hip hopand still can enjoy the mainstream rap covers of Matt & Kim. We'llbe going to Rock the Bells in a couple weeks and I only wish that wassponsored by Heineken.

Free booze man! Maybe if you get to go to these privateevents all the time cause of Village Voice then I guess it could getold, butI'm just a regular concert goer who works 9-5 and I usually have tospend 7-8 dollars for the luxury of a beer. Would I prefer a  goodindependent craft brew as opposed to a Heineken? Of course. But will Iturn down free booze cause I don't want to support "The Man"? Of coursenot.   

The floor was all "common people" too which was cool. I could care lesswho is on the second and third floors. The type of night I'm going tohave isn't dictated by the people who are out of my sight and out of mymind.

Loosen up a little my friend and don't let sponsorships ruin yournight. As long as you're intelligent then the fact that Kim made a jokeabout drinking Heineken should have no effect on you.  

Tommy
Tommy

You are a pretentious douche.  This is the second piece I have read from you and also the second party I have attended that you have wrote about.  You obviously do not know how to have a good time and enjoy the moment.  Rather you look at all the negatives and dwell on them.  Have a drink and have a good time and maybe you will write something worth reading. 

Mark
Mark

That's so strange. I was there last night and had an awesome time. The fact that it wasn't nearly as full as the last time GT played Terminal 5 made it better because there was actually room to dance. Sure, it was a bunch of tight asses there for the US Open, but they mainly stayed on the 2nd floor away from the people who were there to dance.

I don't know. I loved that it was free, had free booze, and there was even some free food. I thought Matt and Kim and Girl Talk were awesome. Sorry you weren't that into it.

Jeff Rosenthal
Jeff Rosenthal

I was pretty measured here. I had an okay time, certainly not a bad one. Could it have been better? Absolutely, though that was more a problem with space and sound.

I've written three purely negative reviews: two on Kreayshawn, and one on NERD, none of whom exhibited any sort of comfort onstage. If you so badly need to see positive reviews, read my thoughts on Theophilus London, Kanye, Big Sean, Curren$y, Bun B, Machine Gun Kelly, J. Cole, Wiz Khalifa or Jadakiss.

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