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When Girl Talk Came to St. Lawrence University

When the show was announced, I had recognized the name Girl Talk but I was far from familiar with the music of mashup-master, Gregg Gillis. Between then and his performance on Saturday, I gave his latest album, Feed The Animals, quite a few spins. The music was certainly growing on me but I was more excited about seeing him work his magic on stage.

April 11th rolled around and I traveled over to St. Lawrence University for the show. I arrived at the Leithead Fieldhouse at 9:15pm. After going through a relatively thorough search, I was admitted and made my WAIH (couldn’t resist, you’ll see why…) up to the right-hand side of the stage where the rest of the WAIH 90.3 (Potsdam College Radio) crew was hanging out. We had an entire portion at the edge of the barrier claimed for ourselves.

People began to trickle in steadily but there was a surprising absence of any great crowd as we approached showtime. 10pm came and went. By now there were lots of people trying to get through our radio contingent and establish a position closer to the front. We were non too pleased. Those of us on the outside of our group decided to link arms to help protect the group within from the violent shoving that was taking place behind us.

At 10:20, members from ACE, the St. Lawrence campus activities studio association, came out on stage and announced that the show would begin soon. They also encouraged the audience to calm down and relax a bit. Sadly, no one seemed to take the suggestion to heart. The crowd only became more unruly. At 11:01, final stage preparations were made and Gregg Gillis made his way onto the stage. The crowd cheered and a group of audience members was ushered onto the stage to dance alongside Gregg.

People started to jump over the barrier at the front of the stage and climb up to join the dancers. Sadly, there wasn’t any security visibly present at the front of the stage on the right side and the climbers were getting over without being challenged. The stage was crowded with people. Several people had even climbed onto the speakers on either side and were dancing off of them.

At 11:24, Gregg announced, ” Thanks everyone, have a great night!” and he walked off stage. Needless to say, the audience was not pleased. We were all told that the break would be short and the show would continue soon if the audience calmed down. It took about 20 minutes for any kind of progress to take place. Crowd members were shouting all sorts of expletives against Girl Talk and demanding that we start a riot. It was complete chaos and pandemonium. I didn’t see any security personnel near the barrier trying to work with the situation.

Finally, at 11:45, the show started again but without audience members being allowed to dance on stage. I stayed at the front of the crowd for about 20 more minutes and then got tired of dealing with the ensuing violence among the audience members (accidental or otherwise). The show went on until 12:50.

I don’t hold Girl Talk responsible for any of the mishaps of the evening. I had a great time during the actual performance portions. I paid for the experience more than anything and I certainly got an experience to remember. I’m just glad that I walked away without any injury, though a friend of mine had his nose broken during the show. 

I was disappointed with the organization of the show. The security personnel obviously weren’t prepared or even trained for such an event. The security running the searches at the entrance wasn’t prepared to search 2,000 people in such a short period of time. I hope that future events can go much better at St. Lawrence University.

Here is a collection of videos I captured during the show:

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