SAN FRANCISCO — Drawing from its 2017 Grammy-nominated LP Forever and this year’s The Hurt Will Go On EP, Code Orange called out to its audience with pure intensity and ferocity Thursday at August Hall.
From Reba Meyers’ grungy vocals on “Bleeding In The Blur” to the fiery old-school “I Am King,” the band gave every song its proper care and respect, never repeating a similar lick. Code Orange understands its fans and the show reflected its dedication to the craft of hardcore music, which is less about the spectacle and more about a likeminded feeling of the weight of the world crushing on all ends—but you know you’re with likeminded people who feel the same as you.
The most important aspect of Code Orange’s show was its desire to connect with its audience. Over the course of the band’s hour-long set, Meyers, singer-guitarist Eric Balderose, drummer Jami Morgan, bassist Joe Goldman and guitarist Dominic Landolina, who has been with the band only since last year, each contributed his two cents to make fans feel every scream and feel the communal rage.
Show Me The Body was an uppercut to the chin with a setlist of songs both weird and not categorizable. Often compared to Death Grips, Show Me The Body is more than that, with a take on GG Allin theatrics of old-school punk mixed with modern hardcore, hip-hop, spoken word and classic metal.
The show’s opener, the much-hyped Vein, shined a light of authenticity on a genre that has become clogged with poor dramatics. Vein provided a mind-altering experience of Dillinger Escape Plan-like time signatures and Mudvayne-esque grooves that blended together in a perfect combination. It made me excited about where else the band can carry its sound. There is room for evolution for Vein and the parallels it shares with Converge and Botch helps—as it’s only getting started.
Minneapolis hardcore band Disembodied, which was active from 1995 to 1999 before reuniting in 2008, was a tornado of unaltered fury, quickly capturing fans’ attention with “7 Stitches” and and holding through the duration of the set.
Twitching Tongues played a metalcore set, pulling largely from this year’s release, Gaining Purpose Through Passionate Hatred and a fair share of older tunes. The band rounded out a lineup of all-stars. Their energy was well received, but demonstrated why old-school metalcore is slowly dying out. Each song provided a melodic and groove-induced take on the overall genre, but the songs bled into one-another, becoming indiscernible from themselves or from other bands active in the hard scene scene over the past decade.