Written by Nathan Mattise
Photos by Nathan Mattise courtesy of SPIN & Canon
Ask someone what makes a good roadtrip and the responses you get are as widespread as location possibilities. It may be the sort of entity where you only know what works after you’ve experienced it. So follow me here:
This week I won a concert photo contest sponsored by SPIN Magazine and Canon. The prize was two tickets to a private SPIN-sponsored Girl Talk performance in NYC, a new Canon digital camera and the opportunity to take photos at the event that may or may not be used by SPIN in the future. It was a rather easy decision to tackle the 8-hours plus of driving and Girl Talk, as usual, didn’t disappoint.
Now ask someone what makes a Girl Talk concert and the answers will also run the gamut. Plenty of folks have tried to capture it (myself included, twice even) but it’s such a unique concert experience that you never really understand until you go. So maybe it was the anticipation for this event or the loads of reflective travel time it took to get there, but I realized something so incredibly simple.
A Girl Talk show is the perfect roadtrip because the show itself has what you look for in a roadtrip.
Consider these four components to both an epic roadtrip and Girl Talk concerts.
1. It’s an adventure where folks leave their inhibitions behind.
You want a roadtrip where everyone involved buys into it and lets that free spirit take over. For our actual roadtrip, this was the idea of driving home after a 1 a.m. show despite every piece of logic saying it was a bad idea. We got into a Sheetz outside of Scranton around 5:15 a.m. (above) despite NYC supposedly being just two hours away. We did not factor in an inability to direct ourselves out of the city, the absurd traffic surrounding any NYC tunnel, the fog and flood-like conditions around the Delaware Water Gap or the need to take a 45-minute power nap at the Hope, N.J. park-and-ride because of said weather and our own fatigue.
Fans at a Girl Talk show experience this same phenomenon. Take for instance the guy above who somehow severely lacerated his hand on stage prompting the RA within me to seek out some assistance for him backstage. Not only did he simply pour a bottle of water over it and cover his hand in a towel, he went back on stage and kept dancing. He then bled on another guy and that guy kept dancing. We may have let the speakers take over our body movement but those two took the whole “no inhibitions” thing to a new level.
2. Ridiculous chance needs to be fully appreciated.
The chance opportunities for our roadtrip were tremendous. We had free tickets to a show in NYC, I got a free camera and then the event itself surprised us with a free open bar sponsored by Absolut (above). The opening band’s drummer even looked like Manchester United keeper Edward van der Sar.
Girl Talk provides the same opportunity to let you create seemingly meaningless yet memorable stories to share (all starting with, “Remember that one time when…”). If the bleeding duo wasn’t enough, this particular show also featured the leafblower girl who returned to the stage eating tortilla chips. Our real moment of ceased opportunity however was grabbing a water bottle that I’d later hand to Girl Talk after his show in exchange for a quick picture.
3. It’s an ultimate communal experience.
See my two above reviews on Girl Talk shows – my defining impression of his show is definitely how together you feel with everyone else dancing around you. You can see it above in how Girl Talk literally even holds hands with some fans while performing or hangs around after the show to interact with everyone (no matter how bloodied). It goes without saying that bonding is a great roadtrip trait virtually everyone desires.
4. Visit something monumental and make sure to document it.
For us it was Hiro – a venue I’ve been reading about on Brooklyn Vegan for a long time. It’s pretty unassuming on the outside but lived up to the hype by being a small, intimate and chic concert venue. We had plenty of opportunity to document with the new camera and all, but somehow we managed to get noticed by this BV photographer and ended up on their show review post.
As for Girl Talk…well…you’ll document it. I’ve done it every single time I attended and this time it was even encouraged at the door. Just Google or YouTube search Girl Talk and you’ll see very few people can help themselves. A Girl Talk show screams “I’m unique, you should document me.”
In the end we ended up driving nearly 15 hours for an hour and a half of Girl Talk and would do it again in a second. Keep your eyes peeled and your maps ready for when he comes within a short drive of your town and it’ll be a roadtrip worth writing about.
(Links today from SPIN Magazine and Brooklyn Vegan)