Dispatches from the Field: Code Orange squares up and delivers a knockout at Knotfest LA

Dispatches from the Field: Code Orange squares up and delivers a knockout at Knotfest LA

- By Ramon Gonzales

PA's purveyors of heavy hardcore turned their afternoon set into a midday melee.

Frontman Jami Morgan has the kind of onstage presence that can best be described as menacing.

Wielding his microphone stand like a weapon, there is a sense of conviction in his performance that clearly emphasizes that the stage isn’t his profession or even his passion, Code Orange live is a manifestation of his core DNA - as is the case for the collective.

Given that, moments like the introduction to “Last Ones Left” seem especially compelling. “It’s you and me. It’s YOU and ME,” emphasized the frontman as he commanded the afternoon Knotfest crowd to give him as much as he would give them on a track that established that Code Orange remains in a league of their own.

With tandem guitarists Dominic Landolina and Reba Myers, weaving onstage with Morgan and bassist Joe Goldman, Code O confidently took command of the contingent of maggots that had made their way into the stadium early.

Leaving everything onstage, the band made it clear that their intention was to make some converts and from their opener in “Swallowing the Rabbit Whole to their flammable finale in “Forever” - the band made good on their guarantee to empty the tank.

Photo by Steve Thrasher

Presenting a concise, albeit compressive snapshot of the band’s fortified brand of heavy hardcore, Code O managed to squeeze in anthems from their universally lauded 2020 LP, Underneath as well as essentials from their breakout full length, Forever. From the glitchy, guttural “In Fear” and the chaotic “Cold.Metal.Place” to the ominously melodic “Bleeding In the Blur”, the PA provocateurs turned an afternoon set into a midday melee.

Confiding that they were being told offstage to cut early, Morgan shared that there was no way that the band was going to squander the opportunity to leave their mark and proceeded to deliver their pummel with audio sledgehammers like “My World” - a cut that did well in satiating old school fans and swaying first timers simultaneously.

Closing out with “Forever,” Morgan shared that the band was ready to die onstage prior to tearing into the track. Underscoring a unique kind of commitment to their craft and delivering on their word - the health of heavy music proved to have an auspicious forecast with Code Orange at the helm.

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