On April 7, the University of Cincinnati Programs and Activities Council (PAC) hosted a virtual concert for hyper-pop duo 100 Gecs.
100 Gecs members Dylan Brady and Laura Les came to fame in 2019 with their first album, “1000 Gecs,” followed by the companion remix, “1000 Gecs and the Tree of Clues” in 2020. However, the group has been around since 2015 and slowly built a dedicated fan base, as seen by the 100 people in attendance for their virtual set.
Their sound utilizes intense audio distortion of their voices and unexpected beat drops throughout. It is difficult to keep your head from moving along in beat to their unique sound. Their music is glitchy, often discombobulated, and is the definition of unconventional. Their fans are of the same nature. Before the show could even start, fans were spamming the chat section with “gec” in anticipation.
Those who had their cameras on during the concert could be seen bobbing their heads along, creating their own light shows from their rooms, performing the macarena, and at one point, one audience member even showed off a backflip. Despite the virtual setting, 100 Gecs and their fans still brought the energy.
Brady and Les were in a simple room together, and both donned masks for the entirety of the show. In the background was a piece of music-themed rainbow art and a cat. Their setup represented them well, as the duo is originally self-produced. It was true to their simplistic roots in terms of how they create their music. But the experience their songs create is anything but simple.
After a brief moment of sorting out audio difficulties from 100 Gecs’ end and a quick preview of the extreme beats to come, the concert was set to begin. With a quick “Let’s go!” from Les, the first beat dropped.
The majority of the concert was remixed versions of well-known songs, with Brady and Les dancing along in the back as they switched the tracks. Songs that were remixed included “Livin La Vida Loca,” “All The Things She Said,” “Jump In The Line” and many more. One of the more heartfelt moments of their remix was when they included parts of the late singer Sophie’s work.
As the track went from remix to remix, an interlude of tried and true 100 Gecs-style beats served as the transition noise.
As much fun as the fans were having, the duo appeared to be enjoying their time as well. At one point during the set, Brady pulled out a plastic recorder to accompany the tracks. Les head-bobbed along to the songs and would often close in on the screen to see what was going on. It was refreshing to see that even a year into the pandemic, and despite being virtual, music can still bring out the joy in people. As students joked and shared memes in the chat, it truly felt as close to a normal concert experience as you could get during this time.
While the duo did not interact with fans much during the set, other than a few moments of checking to make sure the sound was okay, the bond was still felt between artist and fans.
100 Gecs finished their set out with a rendition of “hand crushed by a mallet” - one of their most popular songs to date. As the iconic first beats transitioned in, the chat went wild. Those who continued to have their cameras on went hard with their movements as they danced and screamed along to the song. Les and Brady were right there with the fans in terms of energy. As the final beat finished, the chat exploded with praise.
As finals week approaches and the mental exhaustion of living in pandemic times continues to weigh on students, this concert proved to be a moment of escapism. It is safe to say that students made the most out of this virtual experience and worked together to make this concert feel as close to the real deal as possible.