Reactions to last night’s show were decidedly mixed. Many had the raucous, sweat-drenched Girl Talk experience they expected to, while a lot were underwhelmed for various reasons.
The night started innocuously enough, with entrants separated by sex and thoroughly patted down on the way in. The buzz of anticipation grew as people filtered filtered towards the Bacon Field House and waited for Greg Gillis to come on. At midnight the lights dimmed and stragglers sprinted in. A short surrealist video of sorts starring the Wesleyan Cardinal played on the projectors, and then Gillis ran on stage.
The first song was a shitshow – the front of the crowd rushed the stage as soon as the music started. A violent mosh pit formed on the platform, with everyone trying to either shove their way past each other to grab pieces of Gillis, maintain their balance, or avoid being trampled.
This threatened the sound equipment (not to mention the people onstage), and the music stopped while everyone was kicked off stage by security.
The ensuing delay was what most people complained about afterwards. Whoever had the mic berated the disgruntled crowd for a few minutes, and the music eventually came back on once the confusion settled down, this time with a row of large volunteers (football players?) standing along the front of the stage.This was effective and probably necessary in keeping people from climbing back on, but it was awkward to watch large unmoving guys chatting with each other on stage and obscuring the view of the artist while everyone below was flailing around, and some seemed to enjoy the role of throwing people off stage a little too much even after things had calmed down.
Otherwise, the rest of the hour ran smoothly enough. People danced, Gillis melded all the songs you get drunk to on weekends into a thumping stream of nostalgia, everyone got sweaty.
The Bacon Field House looked surprisingly empty towards the back of the crowd – with better security resources and logistical planning, 1,000 more people could easily have fit in the venue (…though fire safety codes might say otherwise). It ended too soon, and it would’ve been nice to have the kind of swarming integration of audience and stage you’d expect at a Girl Talk show, but I felt like I got $5 worth of a live event.