As many people know, I have been following Youth Code for a couple of years now, ever since my friend Javier told me about them. Since I’m a fan of hardcore/punk and industrial/electronic/ebm music, it was a no brainer to liking them after seeing many of the live videos online. I missed them on their last outing here in 2015 but this time I was determined to see them play. Luckily, this show fell on a Saturday evening even though a show start of 11:30 pm is normally when I’m in deep REM. So I had to adjust my schedule to make this happen. A couple of days ago, I found that the show promoters decided to combine Youth Code and Baroness (a band they are touring with) with other bands in the Center Stage facility as part of the Shakey Knees fest. Like WTF? For somebody like me, who really only wants to see one band, who knows where they would put them on the bill. Thankfully, Youth Code are powerful with the social media thing, thus I tweeted out to them and asked if they knew when they were actually going on. Still opening but at 11:15 pm sharp and on Center Stage itself (Not the Vinyl or The Loft venues there), due to this change up.
Night arrives and already having my ticket, I get over there. There wasn’t that many people online as of yet, so I was wondering how many people were actually interested in this show. I have never been in the Center Stage part of the facility, so seeing the HUGE place (similar to Atlanta’s Tabernacle in size), I thought it would be weird Youth Code playing and only a few people actually come in. I was glad I was able to sit down for this, pretty nice seating with a good view of the stage. Youth Code came on and you could tell even from a distance, they weren’t too happy with the setup. But as Black Flag would say, no matter how many show up, they came to see YOU, so you have to bring it every time. Bring it YOUTH CODE did. I have seen many live sets of theirs on You Tube, so I kinda knew what to expect but seeing it in person was on a whole other level.
They concentrated on tracks from their new record, “Commitment to Complications” and I was glad to hear “Anagnorisis” which is my favorite song on there. Initially, it was thought they were only going to be able to play 3 or 4 songs but the show promoters let them keep adding a couple more. As the set went on, they just got more and more motivated with Ryan dancing behind his elaborate machinery and Sara just moving all over the large stage. I don’t like industrial acts who just stand there. With YOUTH CODE having deep hardcore music roots, they bring that style to presentation. There were fans in the crowd, but nobody was giving back what the band was putting out. Shame as I have seen some very motivated folks during their live sets I have seen on video. In the end, I was hyped up and loved it.
I went downstairs afterward to buy a couple of their well done shirts (which I would find out later were designed by Sara). I wanted to see if I could catch them before I left. A little later Ryan was around and talking to people. Being my buttinski self, I went and introduced myself, to at the very least say thanks for a great show. He actually was a very cool person and we ended up talking a bit about the show, their band, old/new hardcore bands, veganism and our backgrounds. I am still surprised when people know the hardcore music fanzine HARDWARE I did with Brett Beach in the 1990’s, he actually did. Missed seeing Sara but next time I will try to make that happen. A very cool experience to end a nice evening. I rarely go to shows anymore, I am very glad I didn’t crap out after hearing the situation the show promoters were creating. Hopefully, they will play a smaller venue the next time which I feel suits them better. But yeah…..do check out YOUTH CODE at the earliest opportunity.