100 Gecs Bring Hyperpop to NorVa

Photo credit to Elena Harris.

By Sydney Haulenbeek, Arts and Entertainment Editor

The line to the entrance of the NorVa wraps around the corner. Those in line reflect the electric styles of the artist that they’re all here to see – darkcore dominates the group, mesh tights, leather corsets, and high black boots. It’s the night before Halloween, so there’s a mesh of costumes as well: a set of squids, a girl with a Garfield head, and Superwoman.


The artists they’re here to see: 100 Gecs, a hyperpop duo consisting of Dylan Brady and Laura Les. With only one EP, one album released, and less than a hundred songs on their discography, it should come as a surprise that the venue is almost sold out. However, talking to the fans makes it less so – a couple on the second floor drove all the way from Philadelphia to see who they affectionately refer to as “the Gecs.” A group of strangers among the crowd become fast friends and decide to meet up at the Richmond show.


The opener, Alice Gas, is on the stage after 25 minutes of waiting. The show starts late, but when it finally does, Gas is at a table with a Macbook. It’s casual, but the packed room and warm rainbow lights make it feel close. Gas’ set starts busy, the crowd happy about the music starting, and drinks fly during the first song. She rallied the crowd with her album “Hardcore Heaven” but by the end of her set, the crowd was ready for the headliner.


Their patience had yet to be rewarded, however. An uncomfortably long wait passed between sets before 100 gecs came on, to adoring cheers. They opened with “stupid horse” and the floors of the NorVa shook.


100 Gecs ran through their crowd pleasers, such as “hand crushed by a mallet, ”ringtone” and “gecgecgec.” Towards the end of their set, they performed “money machine,” their most listened to song on Spotify and a clear crowd favorite, before abruptly disappearing off the stage. Screams for “encore” followed before they returned with their final song “what’s that smell”, which came across a bit underwhelming, considering the loud and spontaneous beats of the majority of the track list.


The concert wrapped up in just under two hours, but the chaotic quirkiness of their music resonated deeply with the crowd. The intimate venue suited their performances perfectly, as the people in the mosh pit jumped and danced their hearts out – and even the balcony’s floor was shaking for much of the Gec’s act. The concert was an interesting combination of internet meets real life, with people dressing in whatever ways felt authentic to them. A woman named Natalie made her way through the moshpit, and then up to the balcony, where she was handing out trans and LGBTQIA+ flags to other concert goers. “It’s crazy how many queer people are here!” someone mentioned, as they grabbed a bisexual flag.


“It’s a Gec’s concert!” she said, ushering someone to grab a trans flag off her back.