Not to put too fine a point on it, but for a while during Girl Talk's set—the first 10 minutes or so, when I was as close to the Main Stage as the Lobby Bar—I thought I or somebody else was going to crush an internal organ or die. Before Girl Talk even started, it was difficult to raise an arm to scratch your head—or write in a notebook, if that crazy urge so hit you. But once GT began performing, dozens, if not hundreds of people came pushing toward the stage. One received a year’s worth of frottage in one night. 93-pound high-school girls were crying. My elbow was bumped every 3 seconds, turning my notes into gibberish (I mean more so than usual). Doesn’t take a physics PhD to tell you that the mass would overcome the space if this kept up. The very real possibility of a surging douchebro knocking my pen into my eye convinced me to move back. I ain’t going out like that.

Girl Talk, right, mashing up the hits you love/loathe best.
  • Suzi Pratt
  • Girl Talk, right, mashing up the hits you love/loathe best.

Even back at 10th Avenue, there was no relief from this most clustered of fucks. The packedness continued beyond to Poquito’s/Havana’s parking lot. “Are you taking NOTES right now?” a passing woman incredulously asked me. “Yes,” I replied. “Why?” “I’m covering this for The Stranger.” She said, “I LOVE The Stranger,” and high 5’d me as Snoop Dogg and Pharrell’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot” merged with Missy Elliott’s “Get Ur Freak On.” It wasn’t the swarmed-stage adulation that Girl Talk was receiving, but it was something.

Girl Talk: Pretty fly for a white guy.
  • Suzi Pratt
  • Girl Talk: Pretty fly for a white guy.

But how was the show? You know, it was the usual GT shtick. Stage crammed with dancers from the get-go, confetti and toilet paper shot forth sporadically, inquiries to how Seattle was feeling now and then, and a riotous river of cuts, some of which were too popular for me to recognize (sorry!), and finally, balloons. Yay, balloons.

Girl Talks mixing technique is impeccable.
  • Suzi Pratt
  • Girl Talk's mixing technique is impeccable.

Songs/artists that I did recognize: Ice Cube’s “It Was a Good Day,” the B-52s’ “Rock Lobster,” something by the Ramones, Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me,” Bob James’ “Nautilus” (no doubt sampled in someone else’s track), ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky,” Busta Rhymes’ “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See,” M83’s “Midnight City,” Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” the Breeders’ “Cannonball,” Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me,” something by Eminem over a dope techno track (irony!), Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven Is a Place on Earth,” Tag Team’s “Whoomp There It Is,” Big Country’s “In a Big Country,” Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl,” Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You’ve Been Gone,” Lil Scrappy’s “Don’t Stop Pop That Pussy,” 50 Cent’s “In Da Club (It’s Your Birthday),” Van Halen’s “Jump,” Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” sped-up to jackrabbit tempo. Criticism!

Is *ow* everybody *ungh* having *oof* fun?!
  • Suzi Pratt
  • Is *ow* everybody *ungh* having *oof* fun?!

At the end, Girl Talk shouted, “Seattle, your city fuckin’ rules! Make some fuckin’ noise!” Seattle then made some fuckin’ noise.

Yes, many people danced their asses off and had fun. But many also looked distressed and traumatized. I won't soon forget the young woman repeatedly, concernedly yelling "ASHLEY!" When it becomes a Darwinian struggle simply to check your phone for a text or to stand for two seconds without being jarred or jabbed, party-time euphoria can become fight-or-flee panic. You begin to feel as if you’re an insect trapped in an immense web of humanity. Many people comprising that web likely have had too much to drink, snort, or smoke—or are simply entitled, aggro assholes. Sooner or later, if that mixture of volatile elements continues, something tragic’s going to happen.