By Maggie McPhee
The Vogue Theatre
April 18th, 2018
Gus Dapperton and his three piece band floated from smoke-machine mist on a carriage of cool harmony and cowbell into “Gum, Toe, Shoe”. The Vancouver stop was the New York local’s first live appearance in our city, on his first tour. Having amassed social media fame for his aesthetic music videos and neu-Bowie-esque style, it was as if he came to life from an Instagram square before our eyes.
The show was an 80s dream-pop delight. Even as the foursome traipsed through moody ballads “Ditch” and “Beyond Amends”, the crowd kept transfixed by their neon magnetism. Gus’ keyboardist and sister Megan Rice served back-up vocals that would’ve had even Mario quaking in his boots. Despite his sister’s vocal superiority, the audience was there to eat up Gus. With his cotton-candy bull-cut, bubblegum sweatshirt and iridescent makeup, he certainly served a sweet slice. Guys and gals kept gushing “I fucking love him!” at every turn.
The 21-year-old has a mere 11 tracks under his belt but a whole lot of charisma to back them up. Gus stretched out the short set-list with cutesy quips. Waving an affected arm, he introduced each band member as “being six-foot-three”. Au contraire, half the band didn’t look old enough to drive.
Dancing in the rain of Dapperton’s dazzling guitar riffs and growled poeticism, amidst a sea of pastel hair, mesh, and overalls, felt like a bonafide Internet Party, if there were such a thing. Their show testified that outsider kids can cause enough commotion online to take the world by storm.