Dorian Electra Forms the Best Bits of Internet Culture Into a Stunning Concert


Dorian Electra (Courtesy of their Instagram @DorianElectra)

By Lucas Welk, Arts Writer


Dorian Electra makes music for people that grew up spending way too much time on the internet. They are a mouthful to describe, but Electra is a terminally-online, androgynous pop star that lives on the cutting-edge of musical satire. 

They have an extremely diverse range of cultural and musical influences. Musically, they typically inhabit the same space as viral hyperpop artists like Charlie XCX or 100 Gecs. However, Dorian’s encyclopedic knowledge of internet culture combined with a wickedly-comedic pen game sets them apart. Kids raised on the internet birthed the hyperpop genre, so I couldn’t have expected it to translate so fantastically to the stage. Electra’s extremely-online music is intoxicating in person, live, offline.

The Agenda

After nearly two years since they last hit the road, Dorian Electra is touring their latest record, titled “My Agenda.” Dorian and the two opening acts took the stage Tuesday, Jan. 25 at Soundwell, a cozy venue downtown. The trio Death Tour came out first with a blitzkrieg of trap metal. The songs were short but they hit hard with the crowd. Then out came Lil Mariko, who I’d never heard of, but I quickly found out I’d certainly heard her songs. Likely thanks to some viral Tik Toks, Lil Mariko actually has more monthly Spotify streams than the headliner, Dorian Electra themself. They have 733,000 and 426,000 streams respectively.

Mariko’s songs are short, tongue-in-cheek and perfect for the TikTok algorithm. Armed with only a laptop and some abrasive beats, Mariko began by screaming out gems like “Where’s My Juul,” a musical investigation into a lost vape pen. She appeared on stage very petite and innocuous. Yet her thunderous roars fiercely packed the room. Mariko screamed like she gargled razorblades backstage. It was truly an awesome juxtaposition.

After an intense start, Dorian was ready for us. Yet, to understand why getting hit by squirt guns seemingly full of Mountain Dew made the crowd go buck wild, you’d have to know Dorian’s agenda. 

Their Agenda

Electra is obsessed with three things: Internet culture, LGBTQ culture, and what happens when those cultures collide. For example, the title track “My Agenda” is about the political right’s authoritarian portrayal of the LGBTQ movement. Famous right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones pushed the idea of the gay agenda taking over our country, alleging they put gay poison in our water in order to, “turn the frogs gay.” Instead of debating, Electra doubles down by leaning directly into the absurdity. “My Agenda” is a song about Dorian wanting to infect everyone, including the frogs with their agenda. They went so far as to bring back long-lost LGTBQ icons The Village People, and internet legend Rebecca Black, to feature on the album.

On the track “Gentleman,” Electra addresses an entirely different side of internet culture, specifically incel, neckbeard and gamer culture. Again, Electra inserts themself into the culture in a way only someone intimately familiar with it could. In the music video, they can be seen wearing a fedora with cargo shorts, slicing water jugs with a katana and dumping Mountain Dew all over themself. Needless to say, when Dorian pulled out a huge anime-esque sword on stage, we all went berzerk. 

My Agenda

The crowd and I enjoyed every moment of the performance. The fans’ energy never wavered. Death Tour and Lil Mariko made for captivating openers. Electra is an excellent vocalist. The stellar hyperpop production sounds even better in person. As a whole, it was well-choreographed with great backup dancers. There were exciting costume changes throughout with fun props from all the different characters Dorian plays in each song. All of this was completely bathed in the colorful rainbow stage light, but mostly Mountain Dew green.

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