Chiddy Bang and Girl Talk perform at this year’s ‘bangin’ concert

Eric Walker
Equinox Staff

The music of Ludacris, Black Sabbath, Eminem, Vampire Weekend, and countless other artists could be heard from the Spaulding Gymnasium last Friday as Pittsburgh native mash-up artist Girl Talk performed at Keene State College’s 2012 Spring Weekend Concert.

Girl Talk’s opening act, Chiddy Bang, a duo consisting of Philadelphian rapper Chiddy and instrumental partner Xaphoon Jones, warmed up the crowd with a set of their hits, rarities and an audience participation based freestyle.

“I bet you Sam Adams and Lupe Fiasco can’t do this s**t right here,” Jones said as he took crowd suggestions on what topics Chiddy should rap about, making reference to last year’s Spring Weekend performers.
[singlepic id=1052 w=320 h=240 float=right]

The list ended up consisting of horses, Canada vs the USA, KSC, sweatervests, weed, rapper Lil’ B, and sex, all of which Chiddy was able to incorporate into his impromptu rap.

For Chiddy Bang’s set, Chiddy rapped over Xaphoon Jones’ live drumming and prerecorded instrumentation.

The crowd was incredibly responsive to Chiddy Bang’s set, and whenever Chiddy instructed the crowd to jump, scream, or put their hands in the air, they complied.

Sophmore Kristin Szymkowicz said she was surprised that Chiddy Bang was the opener and not the headliner of the concert. She also pointed out that this year’s Spring Weekend concert was much tamer compared to last year’s.

“Last year it was crazy, the crowd was like pushing everywhere, I saw like almost three fights break out. This year I didn’t see any of that. Everyone was just happy and having a good time,” she said.

Because of some of the incidents that occurred at last year’s spring weekend concert, the Social Activities Council (SAC), who put on the event, decided to heighten security.

For the first time state police were on hand, as well as members of the Keene Police Department, Campus Safety, an EMT, and student security volunteers.

When Girl Talk, aka Greg Gillis, took the stage, a couple dozen audience members went on as well to dance beside him for the duration of the set.

Gillis bobbed back and forth while bent over his laptop, triggering an array of samples. Gillis is a mash-up artists, whose music is completely comprised of previously recorded material.

His songs do not have traditional structures with verses and choruses, but instead the music is a constant ever-changing stream of different parts of different songs that have been cut, pasted, sped up, slowed down, overlapped, and morphed into something completely new.

On average, Girl Talk’s albums use about 300 samples to produce one 50-minute piece of music.

During his live performances Gillis, a former biomedical engineer, plays mash-ups that he has made in the past and released on albums, but is also constantly fiddling with his laptop to make the mash-ups different for each show.

He does so by switching up arrangements and triggering different vocal parts over different instrumentation and so on.

Gillis has said that typically every show is about 25-50 percent new material, because he never wants the audience to hear the same thing twice.

During Girl Talk’s set, Tetris piece shaped screens displayed constantly changing graphics that consisted of what appeared to be complete randomness.

Legos, parrots, baby dolls with rotating beach ball heads, and chihuahuas on flying magic carpets as well as countless other visuals could be seen when looking up during his set.

Gillis occasionally grabbed a microphone to hype up the crowd, usually yelling, “How we feeling Keene State?” He played to the audience’s interest in the unofficial marijuana smoking holiday of April 20, on which the concert happened to fall.

The first words out of Gillis’s mouth after walking on stage were “smoke weed every day,” which brought on a huge crowd response.

President of SAC Dayna Coleman said that they didn’t really have much control over what day the concert would fall.

It just happened to fall on April 20 because that’s  what worked with the artists and the school.

Audience members were patted down when entering the event to prevent the entrance of illegal substances. The temperature inside the concert was at a level where even non-dancing audience members were sweating.

At last year’s Spring Weekend concert there were problems with dehydration because no water was offered.

However this year water bottles were sold at the vendor area for $1. Coleman said that the ventilation system in the gym is virtually nonexistent, which makes it a bad situation for a large scale concert like this.

By the time Girl Talk’s set ended a large portion of the crowd had already left, which may be due to the temperature in the gym, or because of the fact that his set was almost two hours of pure dance music with no breaks.

That might be a little too much for the average concert-goer to handle.

The remaining audience members chanted, “One more song” when Gillis left the stage, and about a minute later he returned for an encore, which ended in an explosion of confetti.

Audience member Dan Callahan said that Keene needs to get a DJ for the Spring Weekend concert every year, and that this concert was the best event he had been to in Keene by far.

“It surpassed my expectations by like 100 percent,” Callahan said.

In past years Keene’s Spring Weekend concerts have featured artists such as Chamillionaire, OAR, Dashboard Confessional, and previously mentioned Sam Adams and Lupe Fiasco.

The concert in total cost about $77,500 according to SAC’s treasurer, Meghan Healy. Chiddy Bang received $25,000, and Girl Talk walked away with $42,500.

2,000 tickets were sold to the event out of the possible 2,200 that were available, however Coleman pointed out that some of the online tickets were never picked up, so the number of attendees was slightly below 2,000.

Coleman said, “I think the concert was awesome, I think people really enjoyed it. It was a little hot in there but anytime you’re going to a concert that’s inside like that you can kind of expect that. I mean there are things like that, but honestly I think that people had a lot of fun and people were safe, and the goal is to bring a show that people will like and that they have a safe time at, so I think we accomplished that.”


Eric Walker can be contacted at

Share and Enjoy !