The Code

The Code: live in Pittsburgh / Erielive in Pittsburgh / Erie (2006)
A-F Records

Reviewer Rating: 5

Contributed by: KirbyPuckettKirbyPuckett
(others by this writer | submit your own)

It is not a simple spectacle to see one of your beloved bands break-up, but it may be even more arduous to witness a premiere local act's demise. Despite being considered a significant city in America, Pittsburgh does not have a prevailing local scene to counterpart that importance. Earlier this mon.

It is not a simple spectacle to see one of your beloved bands break-up, but it may be even more arduous to witness a premiere local act's demise. Despite being considered a significant city in America, Pittsburgh does not have a prevailing local scene to counterpart that importance. Earlier this month when the Code announced their retirement it hit hard with their dedicated fanbase and on the home front of a metropolis in dire need of all the talent it can acquire.

The final three shows for the Code kicked off on October 12th in front of a very eager crowd at Mr. Smalls Theater in Millvale (a suburb of Pittsburgh). The band squeezed in a spot on the bill opening up for Westbound Train, Against All Authority, and Mustard Plug. Frontman Marc Defiant announced to the crowd that this was indeed the end of the road and that sparked a fire amongst those in attendance. Throughout their entire set the enthusiasts never let up, matching every lyric with the eccentric vocalist as they danced and covered the old church's floor in a slippery coating of sweat. Having not played a show since early April of this year, it was obvious that the band had a layer of rust impairing their abilities, but this was minute as the enthusiasm displayed on stage, especially by guitarist Andy, made up for that. Their set was short and sweet, but the Pittsburgh crowd gave the Code a farewell party they will never forget.

The following evening the band was to play in Buffalo, New York but record snowfall crippled the city and the band was unable to make the trek up north. I benefited from this quite, as Against All Authority who were also on the bill ended up staying in Pittsburgh for another night and played a very intriguing set at the Smiling Moose for free. Their set list was similar to what they played the previous night opening for Mustard Plug, but included an excellent cover of the Dead Kennedys' "Holiday in Cambodia." Marc Defiant was there and sang on a song, but I cannot recall which one.

On Saturday my friend Stef and I decided to take the two-hour trip up to Erie, PA to bid farewell to the Code in front of their true hometown fans at the Forward Hall. A handful of local bands filled the lineup, including Mistrials, Pittsburgh natives Incommunicado, Dirt McGurt, and Erie stalwarts Hank Jones. As always, Hank Jones put on a stimulating live set crammed with terrific hardcore songs and a slew of goofing around -- Roger from the Code played guitars on the best song ever written about food, "Pizza Party."

As the Code finished setting up their instruments and the lights dimmed an eerie (no pun intended) aura encompassed the Forward Hall. It vaguely felt similar to attending a funeral for a close friend. The glum state of mind did not last long as the band stormed the stage in passion for the opener, "Battle On." I previously mentioned that the band was mildly out of sync at the Pittsburgh show -- that bit of ??practice' must have been all they needed as they were as tight as ever throughout the duration of the evening. On top of their mainstay songs ("John Doe," "Alert Aware Involve," "Know Your Enemy," etc?) they also debuted a plethora of new songs. It is a shame that the Code are abandoning the music scene as the steadfast straightforward punk rock tunes were on par with their finest songs and surely would have been favorites. They did announce that the show was being recorded and that those tunes may find a home someday.

Throughout the entire evening the crowd had their fists in the air and sang along to each song, but the Forward Hall absolutely erupted when the Code launched into the much loved ska-punk hit "40-Hour Week." I believe it was from that point on when everyone knew it was getting closer and closer to the end for this group of musicians that we all held so close to our hearts; so from that point the fervor between the band and the fans never let up. "I'm Calling Bullshit" teased of an abrupt ending, but no one was fooled as "Riot" commenced an encore. To everyone's delight the band's rendition of Operation Ivy's "Unity" was played. During the cover, everyone swarmed the stage like pirates robbing a vessel; you could vaguely hear the instruments over the collective voices singing the timeless lyrics. Once the platform was cleared the band sensitively dove into "!$@$#$@" for one last time. It was hard watching the end of a career unravel in front of so many committed admirers, but it was a fitting conclusion that will be etched into those in attendance mind's eternally.

The Code were never that large of a band, but they accomplished nearly everything they sought after in their six-year existence. From stealing electricity to perform in an abandoned trailer to traveling the entire country with their unique blend of punk rock the Code have made their mark. Their impact was made not only on their dedicated fanbase, but also the cities of Erie and Pittsburgh who were so fortunate to have a great group guys and musicians call those places home.

The Code

Thank you!

You can view videos from the last show via the band's Myspace page

Set List (in order):

  1. Battle On
  2. (new song)
  3. John Doe
  4. (new song)
  5. Alert Aware Involve
  6. Forget Me Not (new song)
  7. Foolish Dreams (new song)
  8. Know Your Enemy
  9. Revolution Now
  10. A Few Good Men (new song)
  11. 40-Hour Week
  12. Persistence (new song)
  13. Our Safety
  14. I'm Calling Bullshit
  15. --Encore--
  16. Riot
  17. Convergence Is a Loaded Gun
  18. Unity
  19. Brian's Song


People who liked this also liked:
Matt Pond PA - Last LightAt The Drive-In - This Station Is Non-OperationalAnti-Flag - Death Of A Nation DVDVoice In The Wire - Signals In TransmissionRehasher - Off Key MelodiesThe Code / Whatever It Takes - SplitKid Dynamite - Cheap Shots, Youth AnthemsAgainst Me! - AcousticThe Suicide Machines - War Profiteering Is Killing Us AllLifetime - Somewhere in the Swamps of Jersey

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (November 1, 2006)


gladimnotemo (October 30, 2006)

One more nail in the third wave coffin. Good riddance.

Anonymous (October 29, 2006)

Kirby is lame for not mention Masters of the Universe in the Mustard Plug show. Really really lame.

deathbyguitar (October 29, 2006)

the code is an amazing band, one of my favorites, i'm fucking torn apart that they broke up. i was going to go with pat to that show but it just wasn't meant to be, i probably missed one of the best shows of the year. and a shoutout to hank jones. good shit


skolarx (October 27, 2006)

best song ever written about food is Age of Pamparious by Turbonegro. the hank jones song is good but can't hold a candle to that bad boy

Anonymous (October 27, 2006)

Took a trip from Buffalo to see this show...

It was amazing.

I have never seen a band care about the scene and know what punk really stands for more than The Code.

MikeStupid (October 27, 2006)

Wish I could've been there. Sounds like an amazing end to a great band.

Score is for "Brian's Song."

Mute98 (October 27, 2006)

the flatliners live on! as long as they do i dont care TOOmuch for suicide machines and the code though both ruled

kingofsuck (October 27, 2006)

I thought about making it to the AAA/Code show in Pittsburgh, but it wasn't meant to be. It kind of sucks seeing a band play that many new songs at their last show, too.

On another note, when I saw AAA cover "Holiday in Cambodia" in Cleveland this June my friend claimed it was the happiest she'd ever seen me.

sickboi (October 27, 2006)

Lying bastard! Dirt McGurt is dead.

frostbrewliner (October 27, 2006)

Damn i really enjoyed this band. Unique, fun, catchy, oh well, i blame AF records.

mattp330 (October 27, 2006)

never huge into this band, but i did enjoy the couple of recordings i heard of them, and i got to see them open for the suicide machines and they put on a good show

8dollarclarinetsolo (October 27, 2006)

wow, was this guy in the band or what?

SloaneDaley (October 27, 2006)

that was a great and sad/happy review thanks Kirby. Never was a huge fan of the band but they were good for what they did.

theonetruebill (October 27, 2006)

That really sucks that these guys are breaking up. My two favorite ska-core bands broke up this year :(

Anonymous (October 27, 2006)

garbage. good riddance to this bullshit. i hope this streak of shitty bands breaking up continues.

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