Electronic music has long dominated the popular music scene. The buzzing 808s, high-pitched synths, and monotonous automated beats are now commonplace. What no one could have anticipated, however, is the rise of hyperpop, an exaggerated, aggressive evolution of electronic music that can, at times, struggle to sound like music. At the helm of this movement is the St. Louis, Missouri duo of Laura Les and Dylan Brady. Known as 100 gecs, the band has gained notoriety in the past few years for their autotune-drenched vocals, colorful costumes, and bizarrely intriguing instrumentals. For such a conventionally absurd combination, the group has garnered over 1,000,000 monthly Spotify listeners, and their most popular music video, “Money Machine”, currently stands at 13 million views. The group has even collaborated with notable modern artists such as Charli XCX, Fall Out Boy, and Linkin Park. With such accolades as these, it is anything short of a mystery what draws people towards this group. To many, including myself, 100 gecs has been a hilarious byproduct of modern music. The average person struggles to complete even one of their songs. Yet when given the opportunity to see their hijinks live, I immediately bought tickets for the weekend of Halloween.
Entering the concert was its own unique experience: a line at least four blocks long snaked its way across the sidewalks, colored by an assortment of costumes. The band’s energy and explosive sound could already be felt by the legion of fans. Alice Gas, the opening act, had what appeared to be a vicious, eardrum shattering incantation on the crowd. Even her weirdest cuts like a sped-up, triumphant, hyperpop remix of Basket Case had the whole crowd ecstatically jumping. Two comically large speakers stood as visual markers for how much more intense the rest of the concert would be.
After brief intermission between the acts, 100 gecs finally took the stage, unleashing an onslaught of new tracks and their most popular songs. Opening with “Hey Big Man”, the duo elevated the energy of the room with a set of heavy drums, a catchy yet intense guitar loop, and an array of multicolored lights. They immediately transitioned into “Stupid Horse,” a tune that everyone in the crowd easily screamed along to word-for-word while bouncing around the confines of the 9:30 Club. Other highlights were “Gamelan Interlude,” in which they took turns banging violently on a xylophone as the audience chanted along with them, or “Hollywood Baby,” a new track that proudly mixed pop punk elements with their traditional sound. “Hand Crushed By a Mallet” electrified the whole mosh pit to a peak level that carried all the way to “Money Machine,” the essential track of their discography. By the end of their second encore, “800db Cloud,” the pit had received everything they were expecting and more from the performance.
All of the aspects one may dislike about 100 gecs, whether it be the stinging autotune, questionable lyrics, or cheap-sounding instrumentation, had no bearing on the concert experience. Even the most stoic of figures in the crowd (myself included) were engrossed in the experience. Though the group can sound crude on many recordings, their performance at the 9:30 Club proved that some artists are meant for the live performance setting.
Nick Vianna is an undeclared freshman in the College.