by Adrienne Matei
100 gecs unleashed their dirtbag hyperpop nu-metal ska at the PNE Forum Good Friday, and I think Jesus would have approved. Touring the release of their new, almost-all-hits album 10,000 gecs, the St. Louis duo of Laura Les and Dylan Brady radiated an enthusiasm that made you want to follow them rapturously into their sweet, stupid world.
I saw 100 gecs for the first time on the festival circuit last summer, and I think that experience cured my pandemic anhedonia by providing such a strong defibrillator blast of fun that a whole part of my brain restarted. Vancouver’s show seemed to be having a similar effect on a packed crowd of mostly young faces, with a couple of parents in the bleachers. The general consensus was that the vibes were impossibly young and cool: “Oh, to be that cool…” wistfully mused the coolest girl I’ve ever seen in my life outside of the venue after the show. “I felt so old,” said my friend’s 26-year-old younger brother, the only other person I (a 31-year-old) knew there.
But all subjective self-identity evaporated when Les and Brady performed, starting with their album-opener “Dumbest Girl Alive,” a thrashy banger that bursts out of a THX sound effect intro with the energy of a firework exploding inside a rental apartment. The lyrics are a delicious distillation of gecs’ bimbo-savantism—where every moment of smooth-brain serotonin is brought to you by the duo’s undeniable genius: “If you think I'm stupid now/You should see me when I'm high/And I'm smarter than I look/I'm the dumbest girl alive,” sang Les in her autotuned growl, with everyone shouting the chorus.
The voltage stayed high from there with the gecs ripping through most of their new album, the glitchy sugar rush of “757,” the deep-fried Blink-182 vibe of “Hollywood Baby,” the ridiculously fun, bratty spoken word of “The Most Wanted Person in the United States,” a song featuring boing-oing-oing sound effects and the rhyme “Got Anthony Kiedis sucking on my penis,” which also appears on the duo’s merch hoodies. Favourites from 2019’s 1000 gecs album included “Stupid Horse,” “Money Machine,” and “Ringtone,” the latter a cutie-pie interlude amid the distortion of the rest of the set. My recommendation for a new-to-the-band first listen is also the song I had the most fun dancing to all night: the pop-punky latest lead single, “Mememe.”
The concert ended at a prim 10pm and didn’t get as chaotic as it could have, but the crowd seemed glad to have left the internet for something worthwhile: an exuberant party thrown by a couple of weird, wonderful wizards.
100 gecs performed at the PNE Forum on April 7.