Girl Talk / The Death Set / CX KiDTRONiK & KraK attacK Kool Haus, Toronto ON November 12

Blurring the line between dance party and concert, Greg Gillis, aka Girl Talk, weaved pop songs into mash-ups on his laptop in the centre of the stage, where he was surrounded by audience members. It was a strange and hypnotic place to be: at once dancing in the audience and watching the audience dance on stage. Not to mention the music, which took bits and pieces of Girl Talk’s most recent albums, Night Ripper and Feed the Animals, and blended them into one long, continuous stream of music. It was all very meta.

CX KiDTRONiK and KraK attack got the evening started without a moment’s warning. All of a sudden CX KiDTRONiK was on stage spouting his own praises while DJing. Joined by Krak attacK on the mic, the duo were an excuse for showcasing an unhealthy obsession with the female rear end. At first their slideshow display at the back of the stage showing pictures of women bent over revealing their "kraks” was amusing. But then it became uncomfortable. And, yes, their music was about exactly what you think it was about.

The Death Set delivered an equally aggressive onslaught of attitude and poor taste. With web 1.0-style graphics on the projector behind them, the Death Set blasted through song after song of quick, punky dance numbers. They wore their sunglasses on stage, spit and threw their drinks into the audience, and generally seemed to be more bothered than excited to be performing — because that’s what a punk band is supposed to do, right? Their punk put-ons would have been more at home in a smaller venue, and this became painfully clear during their cover of Operation Ivy’s "Bombshell,” which echoed in the large club-like atmosphere.

Girl Talk’s set was marked with sweaty dancers, toilet paper rolls flying in every direction, massive odd-shaped balloons tossed into the crowd and brightly-coloured confetti. It was easy to forget the controversy surrounding his music, until he got "heavy” about copyright issues. He urged the audience to research Creative Commons, and to go home and "remix the fuck out of my album.”

But his words fell on deaf ears because, for better or worse, everyone was just there for a good time.