Story and Photos: Spencer Fleming
Hardcore Industrialists Code Orange are Out For Blood!
Coming off a massive support slot on the Korn & Chevelle tour, the Pittsburgh natives had some great momentum going into this headline run. After only two dates in Detroit and Chicago respectively, the band made a stop at The Slowdown in Omaha Tuesday and absolutely ripped the stage down.
Code Orange has a great package of support behind them including the post-hardcore band Loathe from the UK, Dying Wish, a hardcore band from Portland, and the heavy metal band Vended from nearby Des Moines, IA.
As I pulled in behind The Slowdown I noticed a group of dudes doing stretches and applying crazy blue makeup all over their faces and arms. Never one to shy away from the artists I'm covering I made my way over and introduced myself.
Sure enough it was the first band on the bill, Vended. I chatted with the guys about my Knotfest Iowa experience and how unfortunately, even with a media credential it took so long to get into the venue I missed their set that day.
As I predicted, they didn't know about any of the problems until the next day when it came out in the media. I saw a lot of people online blaming the bands for the issues.
After working with these big festivals for the last few years I knew it definitely wasn't any of the bands, even Slipknot causing the problems. It was the event organizers that could've planned better. Anyways, if you weren't aware of how the show went down you can check it out HERE.
After my quick chat with Vended I got checked in and readied my gear for the shoot. I squeezed between the barricade and the stage ready to catch Vended in their element.
As the lights when down the heavy booming guitars hit the crowd like a punch in the face. Lead singer Griffin Taylor grabbed the mike and proceeded to pump the crowd up with his growling shouts and stage jumps.
It was crazy to hear how similar Griffin sounds when compared to his dad Corey. Yes, that Corey Taylor. If you're unfamiliar, Vended singer Griffin is the son of Slipknot singer Corey Taylor and drummer Simon Crahan is the son of Slipknot drummer Shawn Crahan.
While there may be some folks saying Vended jumped the line or hasn't paid their dues by getting onto these national tours like Knotfest and Code Orange via the Slipknot connection, let me tell you, these guys are out here putting in work.
Their stage show was intense and full of energy. Towards the end of the set bass player Jeremiah Pugh ran through the crowd to jam out on top of The Slowdown bar! I can say that's a first for me. By the end of the set when Vended played "Antibody" the circle pit was raging.
Mark my words, Vended will come back through with a headline tour someday soon and everyone will say "I was there when they opened for Code Orange and it ripped!"
Speaking of killer sets, Dying Wish was spitting fire! I was able to catch up with lead singer Emma after the show for a few questions so check that out at the end of the article.
If you've been following our content for a while you'll know I'm not the biggest fan of 100% scream vocals. Maybe I have what Jamey Jasta refers to as "B*tch ears".
With Dying Wish, it didn't matter. The combination of brutal hardcore breakdowns, throwback mid-2000s alarm clock riffs, and pure punk rock spirit of Emma's vocals and crowd work absolutely won me over.
While there were two songs with some clean vocals, for the majority of the set Emma was burning the building down with her intense screams and I was loving every minute of it.
From the outside Emma had the look of a hardcore Gwen Stefani with the blonde hair, plaid pants and boots, but as soon as she started rocking with the band it was like the beast had been unleashed!
Fans in the front screamed along with every lyric as Emma held the mic out in unity. When Emma started doing the hardcore "running man" I about lost my mind.
Dying Wish made a lot of new fans in Omaha and I'm leading the charge. Make sure you catch this band if they come through. You'll have a blast or your money back. That's a Stories from the Crowd guarantee!
After picking my jaw up off the floor it was time for Loathe all the way from the U.K. I was super pumped to catch these guys because again, if you've followed our content then you know I'm an absolute Deftones nut.
Chino from Deftones has been quoted that Loathe is bringing the goods in a big way. It's always cool to see newer bands getting the co-sign from bands that came before.
Loathe definitely had a similar Deftones sound, but they leaned super heavy. They came out of the gate swinging. Lead singer Kadeem had the brutal screams that ripped through the crowd like lightning.
The majority of the set was high energy brutality but the band did slow things down a few times and had that super smooth shoegaze style that initially captured my heart. Loathe's song "Two-Way Mirror" is a page right out of the Deftones playbook. Heavy fuzzed out guitars over melodic vocals that got the crowd swaying.
Loathe's set was awesome, but I walked away more excited to see their forefathers Deftones than ever. Their tour with Gojira and Vowws starts in just over a week. We're hoping to catch them on the last day of the tour at the sold out Armory in Minneapolis.
After a short stage setup it was time to get bloody with the new leaders of hardcore, Code Orange!!! The last time I caught Code Orange it was with wouldn't you guess, Deftones, like six years ago at a small theater in Kansas City.
When I caught the band then it was something completely unexpected. The energy was insane and their sound was really unique. Was it metal, was it hardcore, was it industrial? Who cares, it was awesome!
Since then, Code Orange has gone on to release two massive albums, 2017's Forever and 2020's Underneath. It's crazy that the band isn't necessarily touring in support of a new album but more riding the success of their latest single "Out For Blood", hence, the name of the tour.
As the lights went down the deep bass rumbled and the background L.E.D wall started to flash these crazy strobes. Code Orange stepped out looking so scary! They all had big black boots ready to stomp the crowd into submission.
Singer Jami grabbed the mic with such forceful power as the band launched into their new single "Out For Blood". The barrier between myself and the stage was so close I could feel the hair of people in the front whipping on my back as they headbanged along with the razor sharp riffs and industrial beats.
This was a tough one to shoot as the band had energy for days. Just as I got the camera into a good spot bass player Jon Goldman was towering over me looking like a giant through the lens. Guitarists Reba and Dominic stayed in their positions but certainly weren't standing still. Same with drummer Max and keyboard player Eric. All of the members were ready to throw down!
Code Orange powered through their set in what felt like record time. The band stuck to songs from their latest release Underneath for the most part but they threw in a few from Forever and one cut "My World" from 2014's I Am King.
Before Code Orange closed with a hit from Underneath, "Swallowing The Rabbit Whole" lead singer Jami told the crowd "I don't care if you head-bang, push pit, or just bob your head in the back, but we need to get this place moving".
Knowing it would be their last release of energy for the night the crowd fired up the circle pit and karate-kicked their hardcore hearts out. Jami thanked the crowd for coming out and said "I know we haven't been here for a while and it feels like there's a new show every day, every hour, every minute, we appreciate you spending your time with us."
I was able to catch up with Jami after the show for a few questions.
Stories from the Crowd: So you guys recently played with Korn and Chevelle, that's insane!
Jami: Yea we're done with that tour and now we're on our own headline tour.
Stories: So what kind of stuff were you into growing up?
Jami: My parents were into like Public Enemy and early hip-hop so that was the first type of music I was introduced to, but growing up I started getting into like Black Flag and punk rock stuff. I went off and explored other styles too but came back to punk rock and metal.
Stories: Nice. Yea you can tell you guys have a lot of different music tastes with they way you blend all your styles. How about the other people in your band, did they come up in the punk rock scene?
Jami: Yea we were all into punk rock and metal. We take inspiration from all types of music, books, movies, video games, always trying to put something different together.
Stories: For sure, when you started getting into music what was one of the first shows you ever went to?
Jami: I think it was Korn with Snoop Dogg, oh, and Linkin Park. Actually, I went to a festival in Chicago to catch the Foo Fighters before that one.
Stories: That's sick. I saw Linkin Park at a small room like 200-300 cap before their first album came out. It was awesome.
Jami: Sounds like a great show.
Stories: So you guys are out supporting your latest album or do you have some stuff in the works after this tour?
Jami: Yea we're still supporting Underneath which came out two years ago. We have some new things we're working on. We'll get to it pretty soon.
Stories: That sounds great. Thanks for taking the time for some questions and to get to know you better!
On my way out I caught Emma from Dying Wish at the merch booth for a few questions as well.
Stories: Thanks so much for talking with me so last minute.
Emma: No worries.
Stories: So what was the first band that really influenced you and made you want to do this for a living?
Emma: It would have been a hardcore band for sure. I would say Half Heart or like early Rotting Out, stuff like that.
Stories: Cool. You'll have to forgive me I'm not super into the hardcore scene, but when I saw your set I was blown away, I absolutely loved it.
Emma: Thank you!
Stories: For sure. I normally lean towards bands with a bit more clean vocals, and you did have a few in your set so that was cool, but when I saw your energy I didn't even care about the lack of clean vocals. I was rocking out and having the best time. It was amazing.
Emma: We have some clean vocals but we make sure it's organic and it only happens in the places where it truly belongs so we're not forcing anything.
Stories: I was going to say, do you find it more difficult to write for a particular vocal style or how you decide what goes where?
Emma: It's a collective decision. Sam our guitar player writes stuff, so he might have an idea of "this is where it would go" and then we talk about it as a group and collectively make a decision if it works or not.
Stories: Ok, cool. How did you guys meet? Did you know each other from other bands or just the local scene?
Emma: Through the scene but I've known Pedro who plays guitar and Jeff who plays drums since we were in middle school. As we grew up we just showed each other different music and eventually got together.
Stories: That's so cool. Code Orange was saying how they knew each other since middle school too. It's the magic of middle school, haha. Do you guys have a pretty big hardcore scene in Portland?
Emma: We don't have a lot of local bands, but we have a lot of kids that are eager for hardcore music and show up for shows. A lot of good turnout.
Stories: We have decent turn outs here, but apparently there's this thing called "Getting Omaha'd" that's happened a couple times in the last few years. A local band will open and then take their crowd with them after they play leaving the national band with like four people watching them.
I saw it once with a band who will remain nameless. They were all in high school/college and instead of staying they all went to Denny's or something. Their loss, the national band was killer and they totally missed it.
Emma: Yea that can happen sometimes. As a local band you have to stay and encourage your friends to hang around too. But it's also on the promoter too. They could always have the touring band play first.
Stories: For sure. What was one of the first shows you ever went to?
Emma: My first hardcore show was Punch at an anarchist bookstore. I had gone to some other things but that was like the first D.I.Y show that really opened my eyes to what a smaller music scene really looks like.
Stories: So not like NSYNC in the fifth grade?
Emma: Haha, my mom used to take me to like Cowboy Junkies and stuff like that but I don't really remember it that much.
Stories: That's awesome. It's cool that you guys are out here, and you're on the whole tour, right?
Emma: Yep we're on the whole tour.
Stories: Well like I said, you guys definitely killed it. Hopefully someone will see this and check you out so they can catch you at the next one. I know I'm excited to see you guys again!
Emma: Thanks so much!
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