Posted by: Cory | January 29, 2008

REVIEW: Dan Deacon/Girl Talk/Lord of the Yum Yum in Chicago – 1/26

This weekend I had a mystical experience like nothing I’ve ever known. Jack Hart would have loved it.

In a land far away, the Ultimate Reality tour brought three gods amongst men to the Metro…Lord of the Yum Yum, Dan Deacon & Girl Talk. Before the show, I waited outside & in line while my friends went out & had drinks because I was incredibly eager for the show. My choice. The best hot dog (with pickle and tomato) in my life made up for it.

Once we got there, pretty immediately I saw Lord of the Yum-Yum, aka Paul Velat, on stage & was surprised that he was there so fast. Then he starts telling everyone he’s not him, but rather his groupie…but I recognized his awkward height & general stance and knew it had to be him. A few minutes later he pulls a silver silk shawl over himself, pulls off his first lawyer of clothes to reveal a powder blue suit and some of the sickest beats and craziest dancing I’ve ever heard or seen…layering vocals two or three times over songs we all know and love…and giving them an entire new field of appreciation. I think because it was so sudden that in the beginning it was only about 5 of us there watching him…me, nick, zach, jake and some dude in rivers cuomo glasses who pointed out Dan’s station that the multi-pierced bouncer couldn’t quite seem to be able to do.

Not that we didn’t love the Lord, but we knew positioning was critical for Dan, so we set up shop at the table. I was on the end, zach & nick were the good & bad angels on Dan’s shoulders & jake somewhere nearby. The moment the Lord gets done, we notice the cover to Dan’s playground is uncovered but nobody seems to know what happened. Nobody cares. It’s about to happen. And then he walks around from behind the speakers, set the green skull down, I let him by, and he’s into place.

He pulls his long sleeve off to reveal the turquoise shirt that those of us who had only gotten to know Dan’s live shows through YouTube clips have come to love.

“Hello everybody, I’m dan deacon”


“no matter how many times I hear that it never gets old”

the next eruption was him – an explosion of synth & electronic beats that carried us to the top of the mountain within minutes. We had no time to think or adapt. Our hearts and feet and souls were banging banging banging and so suddenly we were all lost in a mist of electronic beats that made perfect sense in their chaotic intricacies. and there was body odor too. but nobody cared.

and we danced

and we danced

and the kids were all around jumping and the table with all of Dan’s equipment kept jumping with us as the kids carried it, so I had to continually apply pressure to keep the table from bleeding all of his equipment onto the ground…this is not the sort of equipment you find at the Doo Wop Shop.

and behind us on the screen flashed a continuous film reel of scenes of Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan the Barbarian and some of his finer moments as the icon to our generation.

and we danced

and we all became part of the show. On 5 or 6 occasions Dan handed me the green light to flash on him or the crowd or whomever seemed best fit at the moment to have a green aura about them. I liked giving the strobe effect to echo the effect of the trippy green skull that hung high above us (the last Chicago show someone stole it). Both nick & zach each got their turns with the light as well. at one point, zach grabbed the extra mic and with a moment of clarity and brilliance poetically spoke “yo yo yo”. jake’s involvement came in a slightly more direct fashion when dan grabbed him and some girl and asked them to make the start of a human tunnel by putting their arms up in the air and holding hands. My new friends from Indiana started the train, with zach 3rd, myself 4th, and nick 5th. I was hesitant to give my place up because I knew there was no way we’d get it back as people were all around us, but I figured it was worth it and everyone deserved their chance, so we took off and after the first turn of our little tunnel, it completely stopped. We later realized this was just evidence that the show was for only about 30-45 people standing up close who could see, because the others seemed to have no notion that dan deacon was even performing. We pushed through. The craziest thing of it all was that we walked right back to our places at the very front (although this time I ended up right next to Dan).

The show continued

It would be impossible to choose a single best moment of the show, but what would have to be up there was when dan grabs duct tape and starts to duct tape the mic & I’m just wondering what other shenanigans this man is about to get into when some guy from above starts tugging on a rope that pulls the mic up to himself and proposes to his now fiancé…which was immediately followed by the live classic “Silence like the Wind Overtakes Me” wherein we all do the classic point to the sky, which just happened in this instance to be the newly engaged couple. We celebrated their love and felt like we were a part of it. It was beautiful.

and we danced

and as we danced at some point I became a part of the show again because I was wearing my green hoodie with the hood up and nick started rubbing my head, and then the girl and guy next to me started rubbing my head too…and then 3 or so more people started rubbing my head and it became the thing that all the cool kids were doing. i only wonder what it looked like to other people because in that moment it was natural.

and at another moment during the show i was jumping, and i felt a hand on the back of my head pushing forward, so i went with it, and it would have appeared to anyone else that the person was smashing my head into the table, but my hand was down. it was zach’s hand.  we were at the top of the mountain.

then all the things that had been happening all show culminated in the final 12 minutes or so with Wham City as the crowd chants there is a mountain of snow up past the big glen, we have a castle enclosed, there is a fountain, out of theh fountain flows gold into a huge hand, a hand held by a bear who had a sick band

Dan said in an interview beforehand that this tour was meant to focus on “maximalism and intensity

i think he accomplished that.



After Dan Deacon finished, Girl Talk started almost immediately.  I moved to the front.  I get the impression that Nick, Zach & Jake thought Girl talk was “legitimately a zero“, but for me it was a Dan Deacon concert with an amazing DJ afterwards. Would I pay the fee to see Girl Talk solo? That’s a harder question. That said, there is no one in the world who meshes as well or as seemlessly with Dan as Greg does.

and I don’t care what my friends say… there is no one in the world who can mash the things Girl Talk can.

Greg was putting Smashing Pumpkins next to Ace of Base, Grizzly Bear, M.I.A., and probably my favorite of the night Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” not to mention that while in no other environment could this next one have been cool…Girl Talk actually managed to make me dance to Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You’ve Been Gone” and nobody can do that.  As soon as the show started, loads of people were up on stage behind which while it was perhaps corny, I would have liked to have been one of them because the crowd was so thick and heavy and sweaty which made it hard to breath…I’d expended most of my energy at Dan Deacon’s performance.  Nevertheless…I’ve never heard anything like what this man can put together & the crowd loved every minute of it.

For more photos & video,


Dan Deacon – Silence like the wind overtakes me

Dan Deacon – Wham City

Wham City from the 7:15 show
i ganked some of the above photos because I wasn’t able to bring a camera in, so check out the photographer’s photos HERE and HERE.


  1. CORY! All of these photos and your story gives me thrills! I’m so happy you went and had the time of your life—I read this entry before, but I completely forgot to leave a comment! Still, awesome on all accounts. Would you say this is your favorite concert of all time?

  2. i read it!

  3. i was there too, was so much fun, do you remember when they had the visuals from on the screens?

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