100 gecs’ Houston Show Brings out City’s Social Rejects for Night of Fun
Written by Alberto Najera on November 16, 2021
Wednesday night, White Oak Music Hall was graced by 100 gecs — either one of the worst or best bands of our time, depending on who you ask. The line outside the venue before the show started served as testament to how large the band’s fanbase has grown recently. After waiting for doors to open, the long line started piling in. There were noticeably more people than the previous night’s Alex G show. I’m sure there’s a joke there somewhere…
There wasn’t much of a wait for the show to start since doors opened so late. Opening the show was underscores. Before the show, I was surprised when my friend told me 100 gecs’ opener was supposedly born in 2001, but after the show, I was surprised they weren’t younger. Their music was very much something only a zoomer could write, taking the hyperpop aesthetic to the max while also incorporating trap and pop punk influences (as seems to be all the rage nowadays). I think I fall somewhere in the age range that can still enjoy 100 gecs while feeling too old to appreciate underscores in the same way. Though their music seemed a tad derivative to me, I congratulate them for being on tour with fairly major artists at such a young age and wish them the best in their career.
In between sets, I was able to appreciate the people around me at the show. Besides my own friends dressed as a catgirl and femboy, there were those dressed as catboys, Hatsune Miku, and wizards in the style of 100 gecs’ costumes. Those like myself who dressed casually might have been the odd ones out in this case.
As the gecs hit the stage, my friends and I decided to try to make our way closer to the front. We made it close enough to be in the part of the crowd where all one could smell was sweaty clothes and bad breath. 100 gecs began the show with an unreleased song, whose guitar riff and hard drums were enough to get the crowd active. Their already established hits were what really got the crowd moving, though, and they went into their first one with the classic “stupid horse.” The anthemic chorus had everyone poorly singing along while also doing what was likely the most physical activity they had done in years.
As the show went on and they went into material new and old, I couldn’t help but feel like I was at a scene show a decade ago, maybe brokeNCYDE or something. The synths and tempo made the atmosphere feel more like some kind of nightcore rave than a regular concert at times. The Y2K revival is something that has already been well-documented, but it’s strange to see it progressing past the years of my childhood into my tween years.
“Hand crushed by mallet” — that tells the story of a fly being squashed by the narrator — was another rave-worthy track. All the choruses the crowd sang make 100 gecs probably the most genuinely catchy band in hyperpop, which I think is saying something. “Money machine” and “ringtone” also immediately had everyone singing, and no doubt once the unreleased songs officially drop, future crowds will be singing them as well.
The crowd was chaotic throughout most of the show, which had some un-ideal consequences for some. One person hit their head on the back of mine, which I instantly knew hurt them far worse than me; those around me at some point made an honest attempt to look for someone’s fallen glasses, but as someone whose glasses fell off at a Playboi Carti show three years prior, I knew they were gone for good; and I somehow ended up with tiny bits of blood on the back of my shirt by the end of the show. Not to mention that by the end of the show, my friends and I were all damp from the sweat of those around us, the mark of a truly energetic crowd.
Some odd points in the show included a xylophone break a few songs in, as well the extremely fitting song known as “what’s that smell,” which features the lyrics “damn, what’s that smell?… turn down that [expletive] smell.” In that moment, I felt understood.
By the time the show was over, it didn’t feel like it had been more than 30 minutes. Maybe the songs themselves made the show feel so fast, but it really didn’t feel much longer than the opener. I suppose my biggest complaint is the brief nature of the show. I did feel a bit slighted that I didn’t get to hear “xXXi_wud_nvrstøp_ÜXXx.” Nevertheless, gecs put on a great show, and if you suffer from ADHD or something similar, I recommend you catch them at a show on their tour if you have the chance. You would have a lot of fun.