On the 9th of February 100 Gecs made their debut Melbourne performance at Northcote Theatre. Arriving an hour before the doors were open, I expected a crowd to be forming, but did not expect the snake- like line that wrapped around the theatre, and down the side streets. The energy of the crowd were full of excitement before the doors were even open, as fresh faced fans joined the line, chattering away to strangers. To passers by it probably seemed as one, very large family, were in attendance for the night’s performance. This familial feeling only grew as the clock struck 7:30 and the theatre welcomed it’s patrons. I decided that I would enjoy going front and centre for 100 Gecs because if their fans were anything like their music, I knew I was in for a debaucheries, wild, and electrifying night.
I was not wrong.
Starting off the night, Melbourne’s own emo icon and night core influenced singer Daine gave the audience a treat. Displaying a mix of genres from hyperpop, to heavy metal, Daine captivated excited fans, as they prowled around the stage with bleach blonde hair that hung low, and unflinching eyes that were as captivating as their saccharin vocals. This was my first time seeing Daine so I initially was not sure what to expect from them. However, after just 10 minutes, I could easily see why they were chosen to be 100 Gecs opening act. They were a perfect fit, as their songs, which, akin to 100 Gecs, are a product of humble beginnings and DIY music production. They truly set the stage in a way that celebrated the hardcore, hyperpop genre, and it was lovely seeing this come from an artist who is at the beginning of their burgeoning influence and popularity. Through Daine, we the audience were witness to a different kind of musical intensity: one that captured the hearts of disillusioned youth and foreshadowed the welcomed chaos that was yet to come.
When 100 Gecs advanced onto the stage, they made it known that they were not here to play around. Having had to postpone their concert from 2020, it was clear that this night had been a long time coming, for both the Gec’s and their fans.
“Tonight, we’re gonna play some songs for you”, shouted lead singer Laura Les to a sea of adoring faces. It became evident pretty quickly that no matter what kind of performance Laura and Dylan gave, and no matter what songs featured on their set list, the fans were there to eat up every moment; enticed by the mere presence of this beloved duo. Starting the set with Hey Big Man the cacophony of violent sounds, and absurd lyrics about being unable to pronounce ‘anemonae’, really prepared our ears and acclimatised our souls for a night of Gec-mania. Going straight into their mega hit Stupid Horse, Laura and Dylan performed with exhilarated excitement; their gigantic witch hats bobbing up and down as they stomped and jumped around the stage. Something that I found particularly fun to observe, was watching Dylan play around with the song files on his laptop between sets; giving us a tiny glimpse into the tedious editing process that is at the core of their songs. Producing a Gec song is reliant on all the power that can be possessed on one little laptop, and a solid editing software. Seeing Dylan demonstrate this process on stage felt like a special opportunity to see them, as a band, come to life, as they have largely gained acclaim via being such an online sensation. I loved that we were witnessing their Aussie debut in such an interactive, face to face way! It was special to hear songs like gecgecgec performed live, with an acoustic rendition, and it added a sense of rawness and realness to their internet persona, which I wasn’t expected but thoroughly enjoyed.
At one point in the night, the man next to me explained his journey toward becoming a 100 Gecs fan. He stated how he went from initially thinking “this is horrible”, to “this is genius”, whilst all the while acknowledging that he still feels they are partly “unlistenable”. This discussion was probably the most eye opening aspect of the night for me, as I got an insight into the wonderous way that fans respond and relate to 100 Gecs sound. Fans seem to not subscribe to the binary of purely loving or hating their sound. Rather, they seem to appreciate what this duo put out, regardless of how ‘clean’ a song sounds, or how easily it can fit into one genre or category. It seems that within the brutality of their sound, the internet meme- inspired lyrics, and the outright hilarious subject matter of many of their songs, Laura and Dylan inject passion and force into their songs, but also don’t take themselves too seriously, and neither do their fans.
The night finished off with What’s That Smell, an unreleased song that genuinely had me laughing at its ludicrous lyrics. This further reinforced how little the Gecs care about creating content that fits into a mainstream, traditionalist idea of what it means to create music, and I absolutely loved it. Overall, 100 Gecs gave me a snapshot into a world where binaries are abandoned, strange wizard hats are adorned, and one’s uniqueness is embraced above all else.