Bane

support Code Orange
author PP date 09/11/15 venue BETA, Copenhagen, DEN

Pay attention to this lesson, music fans. Sometimes it pays to peer through European tour schedules and find unfilled holes in between. Little birds are singing that someone in the scene spotted that the Bane and Code Orange European tour had a free night sandwiched in between Germany and Sweden, forwarded that info to a few local bookers, and lo and behold: a Copenhagen date at BETA was in place a week or two later. Excellent news for melodic hardcore fans around Copenhagen as this was going to be their last opportunity to catch Bane live on their final tour before they disband. That hyped ultra-experimental hardcore group Code Orange were willing to extend their tour one more night (they're not on remaining dates) is just an added bonus considering their widely acclaimed Copenhell show this summer.

Code Orange

Code Orange

Code Orange's vicious, twisted form of hardcore is an expression that continues to puzzle and challenge listeners on record, but in a live environment these songs truly come to life. "MOVE UP, MOVE UP, MOVE UP, THIS IS A HARDCORE SHOW", their drummer shouts into the mic in true hardcore style, and it doesn't take long before the band's absolutely manic live performance morphs the stage into a form of chaos seldom seen at BETA. Swirling kick jumps, menacing head bangs, and constant high-energy movement means it's difficult to keep tabs on what's happening on stage: if it isn't their female guitarist Reba Meyers throwing her long curly hair back and forth as if this was a death metal show, their other guitarist or bassist are crashing into each other and engaging in ludicrously high stage jumps in the process. It's a spectacle, nothing less, but, unfortunately, their slower, stomp-friendly passages also invite for the kind of karate mosh idiocy that ruins the show for everyone else in the vicinity.

The front parts of the pit quickly transform into lethal areas where your survival is only dependent on your ability to throw back face level kick punches with blatant disregard to the safety of other concertgoers. One young fellow gets his nose broken, and another girl her collarbone crushed as a result of these careless idiots. This is not intensity in the pit, this is stupidity in the pit. Go into a Lamb Of God show and study what an intense pit really looks like: karate moshers are nowhere to be seen, and although some bruises are possible and the mosh pit is full of testosterone, safety is sustained throughout and, as a result, the pit adds to the dynamic in the crowd simply by not scaring everyone to standing at the sides and far away from the front of the stage. Rant over, get your shit together guys, not acceptable.

Code Orange

In the meantime, a number of guests are allowed a verse or two on their songs, and a few tracks even draw a small shout along from the crowd. Ominous samples on the background create a dark, twisted atmosphere to their music, and give it an extreme flavor that is only fortified by the weird rhythm changes and the overall uncompromising delivery and stage performance. Let it be underlined one more time: Code Orange are absolutely insane on stage. Their songs might be weird and serve your hardcore in a unique manner like you've never heard before, but their showmanship is best described as lunatic. This should help open some of their studio material to nonbelievers.

8

Bane

With as frantic of a performance as Code Orange just put on, it should've been next to impossible for Bane to match up let alone top that. But much like throughout their career where Bane has been constantly underrated in criminal fashion, they prove doubters wrong by demonstrating what the band is all about by doing exactly what they've always done on tour: performing with dedication, passion, conviction, and with a sense of urgency that most modern hardcore bands just aren't able to match night in night out. Every single time I've had the opportunity to see Bane from huge festival shows to tiny north Copenhagen venues, they deliver an awe-inspiring lesson what hardcore is all about when all the extra bullshit is removed and exposed bare for what it's truly really about: a feeling of unity, a sense of belonging translated into heavy songs with even heavier intellectual lyrical universes.

Bane

Here, they show up with straight up hardcore classics like "Ante Up", "Can We Start Again", or "Sunflowers And Sunsets" from the beginning of their career, back when their first two albums "It All Comes Down To This" and "Give Blood" were spearheading the pioneering steps into what today is the melodic hardcore movement. These are matched by the much more ambitious and frankly brilliant songwriting on not just fan-favorite "Swan Song" that provides an epic finale with people rushing to the stage and grabbing the mic to sing along, but especially on tracks from the modern classic "Don't Wait Up" from last year. "Final Backward Glance" sounds absolutely beautiful tonight with its gang shouted "THIS IS MY FINAL...BACK...WARD...GLANCE" bringing back chills thanks to its melodic perfection, "Wrong Planet" sounds monumental, and "Calling Hours" is tonight's absolute highlight with Code Orange's Reba Meyers joining on stage for her guest part in what is arguably the best Bane song written to date. We are told the story behind the song: it's not just a Bane song but a collaborative effort between them and a number of other artists in the hardcore scene that they deeply respect. It wasn't written by Bane rather than by everyone involved together, and as a result the track is one of the most ambitious and amazing hardcore tracks written to date. The original features Pat Flynn of Have Heart, Walter Delgado of Rotting Out, and David Wood of Down To Nothing; their parts are covered by different band members tonight in convincing fashion.

Bane

As usual, Aaron Bedard spends a considerable amount of time in between songs telling us about issues at his heart. There's a long speech about people breaking your trust and how many of us standing here have experienced that, and those that have not have been incredibly lucky and should treasure that feeling, right before "Wrong Planet". There's a notion about us not just standing back drinking our beers and watching the band but participating: "Get involved. Start a band with some friends. Convince your other friends to start bands together as well. Eventually that sparks a fire and all of a sudden you have zines, and someone starts a record label, and now you have a scene", Bedard explains, which goes back to how Bane and their local scene started going. We also get to hear about their first Copenhagen show back in 2000 in this context. Each of these speeches is delivered at a great length but in a piercingly convincing manner, and each one of them shows that Bedard doesn't just talk the talk, he walks the walk when it comes to hardcore.

Bane

In the meantime, the crowd takes a little while to get started, probably as a result of the bruising from Code Orange earlier, but by "Can We Start Again" we have people vaulting at the stage to sing along and stage dives taking place. This energy picks up again in every song, but for some reason Bane opt to have slightly awkward silences breaking the flow in between a few too many songs for the energy to be sustained throughout the show. I can only imagine what would've happened if they would've played the songs straight with only the speeches interrupting the set, because, on stage, the band's energy is ridiculously good. There isn't a moment where someone from the band isn't up in the air engaged in twirling jumps or spinning on stage in a crazed fashion. Bedard isn't afraid to share the mic for those up front, but fortunately this is left to a minimum as his hardcore bark especially during the melodic sections is second to none in this scene. "This is it, we're not gonna come back and play an encore", Bedard shouts before they finish their set off in brilliant fashion. Bane will be missed, and while a weekend show would've been a better way to say goodbye to the melodic hardcore legends, for a Monday show it doesn't get much better than this.

8

Photos by: Peter Troest

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