Aftermath didn't think it was possible to up the ante any more at this year's Summerfest until Girl Talk took the stage Saturday night. In our estimation, it was the biggest and baddest Summerfest party to date. We might even venture to say that achieved the biggest and baddest summer party in Houston history...ever. And it was a feat that our city so desperately needed. Being the good scientist that he is, Girl Talk likely calculated the formula for the perfect party the night before his Summerfest set. That formula looks something like this: One part toilet paper blasting machine; two parts giant bouncing balloons; four parts onstage dance party (including festival volunteers); one part confetti; one part rave-dancing dude dressed head to toe in red spandex a la green man from It's Always Sunny...; 10 parts mash-ups and four parts fireworks finale.
Before Girl Talk entered the stage, a slowed-down version of the Black Eyed Peas's "I've Gotta Feeling" warmed up the crowd. No, we at Rocks Off are not personal fans of the tune - even when it's slowed down - but the crush of people from atop the hill to the front of the stage seemed to dig it immensely, singing along in a tempo that would make Paul Wall smile. Girl Talk rushed onstage and hopped up on top of his tables, shirtless and arms spread outwards. He greeted the crowd and jumped back behind his tables, spinning Ciara's "My Goodies" followed by a Ramones - "Blitzkreig Bop" and Missy Elliott - "Get Your Freak On" mash-up. He was soon joined by a throng of people who flooded the stage, many of whom wore Summerfest volunteer shirts.
They danced brazenly behind his tables, creating a house party-like vibe onstage. A Speedo and fanny pack-clad Dennis Rodman lookalike fronted this ragtag, impromptu band of backup dancers, leading the crowd.
It was a party, no holds were barred and no expense spared. One of the onstage house party dancers unveiled what looked to be a leaf blower turned toilet-paper streamer. The contraption spat of line upon line of toilet paper that twirled about in the air, landing both onstage and on the crowd below. Then came giant bouncing balloons falling from the ceiling, followed by a shower of confetti. A large video screen on stage right beamed visuals of animated hamburgers and hot dogs.
Notable mash-ups included:
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- Ace of Base's "Don't Turn Around" and Cassidy's "Drink N' My 2 Step"
- Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" and Ludacris's "Move, Bitch"
- Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA" and Dr. Dre's "Tha Next Episode"
- Guns n Roses's "Paradise City" and Fat Joe's "Lean Back"
- Pilot's "Magic" and The Beastie Boys's "Hey Ladies"
- Smashing Pumpkins' "Today" and Youngbloodz's "Damn!"
From beginning to end, it was non-stop, elbow-to-elbow dancing from the hilltop to the stage on a scale we have never before witnessed in all our days of festival-going. It was an experience we have long hoped for, for our oftentimes fickle city that has for too long suffered a nagging musical inferiority complex in the face of Austin or Dallas' bustling music scenes.
It was an experience we really never thought possible until Saturday. A fireworks show and "Imagine" sing-along finale later, we were convinced. The success of last year's Summerfest was not a fluke, as the tens of thousands of Houstonians who braved the menacing Texas heat today in the name of music can attest.
Best party ever... for 24 hours, anyway, until the Flaming Lips' bubble of bliss burst all over Summerfest Sunday night.