(Tia made the pilgrimage to the OTD compound in Pittsburgh for Mom's Day and returned with the following dispatch)
Girl Talk at Mr. Smalls: holy balls was that the single most amazing event I've ever seen in Pittsburgh. My memories of show-goers in Pittsburgh were permanently scarred back when I saw Radiohead on the OK Computer tour in '97 with Teenage Fanclub at Metropol, this place in the strip district. I even lurked around afterward and chatted up Ed O'Brien, and shook hands with Mr. Yorke himself. I was 16 and almost shit myself with excitement, but it never made up for the actual show experience: the crowd was so aggressively obnoxious that Thom Yorke not only stopped mid-song more than once to yell at everyone, but stormed offstage with the band in tow after, like, a 40 minute set when they were playing upwards of 90 minute sets elsewhere.
The Girl Talk shit officially has redeemed the 'Burgh for me. This place Mr. Smalls is a short drive out of the city, is about the size of the Middle East Downstairs (650 capacity), it's got bar area sectioned off in the back for 21+, the rest of the floor space taken over by cigarette-smoking underagers. And it's a converted theater so its got like 40 foot ceilings and a massive stage. Apparently its part of this whole complex within this huge church where they have recording studios, a skatepark, a "Rock hostel for Artist housing" and "In-House Talent Buying and Production Departments" ... whatever that is. I've got major venue envy love for this place.
Once it was clear Girl Talk was about to take the stage, kids started disrobing, and actually warming up with some practice dance moves. A brief "Let's Go Steelers" chant dissipated as Girl Talk came on stage, and immediately as he took to his laptop, kids started streaming onto the stage, about 30 of 'em, and stayed up there for the next hour, and along with the rest of the sold out all-ages crowd, freakout dance attacked each other Pittsburgh pride style. (Suggested drinking game: pound an IC Light every time you see a Terrible Towel in these photos -- OTD.) The crowd was so bumpingly sweatfilled that they had the venue's security dudes spraying everyone down with perforated water bottles. Never felt so proud to have lived in the 'Burgh for sure. And as epic as ever, GT ends his set with his trademarked Scentless Apprentice cover, jumping down into the crowd only to end the song, raised up by his fans into a crowd surf, in nothing but skivvies, screaming into the microphone. Fuuuuuuck.
Not quite the same, but here's some footage ...