I’d been waiting a long time to see Final Fantasy in an intimate setting. Acclaimed as Owen Pallets performance was at this years Electric Picnic, in the loud and heavily packed setting of the Foggy Notions tent it just didn’t work for me. With an appreciative crowd in a small venue like Whelans, the show was perfect. It was Owen’s third night in Dublin, after performing his own gig on Tuesday, he’d supported Swedish crooner Jens Leckman; and last night he filled the special guest slot for Pittsburgh copyfighter and mashup DJ Girl Talk.
Owen was incredible as expected. Abandoning the super advanced quadrophonic setup which had given him some problems on Tuesday, Pallet launched into some classics he’d held back over the last two nights, finishing up with his classic Joanna Newsom cover; telling the audience how he’d once been considered crazy for covering the freak folk genius. It was a beautiful and all too brief set, hugely improved by the absence of unnecessary and overbearing security.
The revelation of the night was ultra hip mixmaster Girl Talk. Playing a set admittedly less polished and dynamic than some of his recorded material, Gregg Gillis, looking like a biblical mountain man, or hip hop unibomber, in wild locks and hoodie, drove the crowd insane. Within three minutes he was crowd surfing. Within three songs he’d pulled the audience onto the stage. For the remainder of the gig Whelans resembled a gritty NY club, sweaty half naked bodies gyrating on every surface, DJ intermittently floating over our heads, never losing his flow. Epic.