"Fuck DeSantis": 100 gecs Rally the Freaks at Revolution Live

Laure Les and Dylan Brady of 100 gecs performing at Revolution Live on May 10, 2023. View more photos from 100 gecs' performance here.
Laure Les and Dylan Brady of 100 gecs performing at Revolution Live on May 10, 2023. View more photos from 100 gecs' performance here. Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg
"I like them because they make me feel free and feel like a freak," a young woman dressed in all-black Tripp pants and a torn fishnet top told me outside the 100 gecs show at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale.

The experimental pop duo of Laura Les and Dylan Brady played to a sold-out crowd dressed in all manner of freak regalia, from oversized band shirts and fluorescent hair to fursuits and Japanese Lolita fashion. The 2005 Hot Topic style of the band's enraptured fans mirrors their chaotic, throw-anything-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach to music and underscores something essential about their appeal. For them, this show was a safe space that allowed them to be whatever they wanted to be.
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Somebody lost a tooth at the 100 gecs show at Revolution Live. View more photos from 100 gecs' performance here.
Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg
And that's important for a show in a state run by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Both 100 gecs and openers Machine Girl managed to make their feelings about Florida's governor known, leading the crowd in impassioned chants of "Fuck DeSantis." The undeclared presidential hopeful's policies toward the LGBTQ community were clearly unpopular among the youthful crowd and the performers. Gecs member Laura Les, who led the chants, is transgender. Her bandmate Dylan Brady also remarked on the local political situation, declaring before one tune, "This song is about trying to take a piss in the state of Florida." The song's title: "The Most Wanted Person in the United States."
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Machine Girl's Matt Stephenson brought rockstar energy to the band's opening set. View more photos from 100 gecs' performance here.
Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg
For the most part, however, politics were drowned out by one of the most energetic, exuberant shows South Florida has seen in some time. Digital hardcore act Machine Girl started things off with a performance that threatened to outdo the main act. Ten years ago, the project was an obscure breakcore outfit popular with weirdos who surfed 4chan for bootleg MP3s. The duo has since exchanged the jungle samples for actual drums and reinvented itself as a hyperkinetic punk band with a hyperkinetic live band like Atari Teenage Riot filtered through Death Grips and Lightning Bolt with a dash of the Unicorns. Drummer Sean Kelly banged away incessantly while singer/multi-instrumentalist Matt Stephenson screamed, shredded guitar, and threw My Little Pony plush toys, and then himself, into the feverish crowd. Kelly also threatened DeSantis with pro-wrestling moves. It was total rockstar energy from beginning to end.

After Machine Girl, the gecs emerged, Brady bedecked in a fluorescent yellow wizard hat and Les in her trademark bleached blonde hair and black lipstick. They proceeded to run through what must have been 75 percent of their catalogue, which isn't difficult to do considering their two albums and one EP each run under 30 minutes. Stuck in the back of the huge crowd, I could barely see them onstage, but the anarchic energy of their music, which fuses heavy metal, EDM, and even ska into a wildly entertaining slurry of sound, reverberated from anthemic opener "Dumbest Girl Alive" to the mosh-pit conclusion of "800db Cloud."
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Laura Les, who is trans, remarked on the political situation in Florida. View more photos from 100 gecs' performance here.
Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg
Fun is the operative word here. Antics, gimmickry, and wacky props are defining aspects of the gecs live experience. Between "One Million Dollars" and alt-rock pastiche "Doritos & Fritos," Les brought out a metal guitar and shredded as if Eddie Vedder's ghost possessed her, while Brady proceeded to beat on a metal object with a belt or a whip or something. The band used various cameras in their visuals, strapping a GoPro to their mic and projecting fans' faces onto the video board as if it were a Jumbotron at a hockey game.

The band's remarkably casual stage presence also adds to their appeal. They bantered deadpan into their Autotuned mics between songs and acted like they had just rolled out of bed and hit a massive bong. "You guys ever just wanna yell?" Les would say, before leading the crowd in, just that, a collective yell. Not a scream, mind you, but a yell. "Aaaaaah!" For most of the show, Brady had his keyboard resting on a metal trash can. At all times, the gecs undercut their rock star mystique, daring the audience to take them seriously. And yet that's what makes them all the more magnetic. They're like the fuckups that got their shit together just long enough to show up and put on a show, and that resonates with all of us fuckups in the audience.
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Laure Les and Dylan Brady's remarkably casual stage presence also adds to their appeal. View more photos from 100 gecs' performance here.
Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg
That potentially exposes some of the limits of their current live act. The band seemed to mostly play the standard recorded versions of their work, and while some of the arrangements were changed a bit, in part to accommodate Les' natural voice, they didn't always have the same bite. Without its fuzzy, blown-out ending, "Money Machine," arguably the duo's biggest song, fizzled out. As the band continues to shift musical directions as part of its Hollywood adventure, it will be interesting to see how their live act changes. Will they grow their touring band to include more live instrumentation? Will their unpolished demeanor give way to aloof, unfriendly cool? Let's hope they keep the shredding, at least.


- "Dumbest Girl Alive"
- "757"
- "Stupid Horse"
- "Frog on the Floor"
- "Ringtone"
- "Fallen 4 U"
- "Hollywood Baby"
- "I Got My Tooth Removed"
- "What's That Smell"
- "The Most Wanted Person in the United States"
- "Billy Knows Jamie"
- "One Million Dollars"
- Instrumental Interlude
- "Doritos & Fritos"
- "Torture Me"
- "Hand Crushed by a Mallet"
- "Money Machine"
- "Mememe"
- "800db Cloud"

- "Bloodstains"
- "Gec 2 U"
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Douglas Markowitz has covered art and music in South Florida for nearly a decade, with stories published by Resident Advisor, the Miami Herald, the Sun Sentinel, Artburst, Burnaway, and principally the Miami New Times, where he interned in 2017. In 2023 he was named a finalist for the Knight-Esserman Journalism Award. He is a University of North Florida graduate and former culture editor at the Phoenix New Times.

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