Code Orange cover Alice In Chains, channel MTV Unplugged & Headbangers Ball on very ’90s stream
Code Orange remain extremely committed to keeping the '90s alive and making it their own in the process. Their great new album Underneath is like a patchwork quilt of '90s-era industrial, nu metal, metalcore, hardcore, alternative rock, and more; their livestreamed release show Last Ones Left: In Fear of the End was the kind of concert film you rarely see new rock bands making, complete with Tool-style visuals; and on Thursday (7/30) night, they did another very '90s, very worthwhile virtual event: Under The Skin.
Under The Skin was a candle-lit, MTV Unplugged-inspired performance, and it began with a Headbangers Ball-style pre-show called Mudbangers Ball (a "show" on "Mud Television," whose logo looks a lot like MTV's logo), hosted by actual '90s Headbangers Ball host Riki Rachtman. Riki interviewed Code Orange guitarist/co-lead vocalist Reba Meyers and asked her about the band's influences, and she named a lot of stuff that was on Headbangers Ball in the '90s (Pantera, Alice In Chains, Nirvana, Sepultura, "Roadrunner classics"), as well as Gojira and current rap. Mudbangers Ball included music videos by both Code Orange and Gojira, as well as other bands from the current hardcore/metalcore scene that would've fit perfectly on Heaadbangers Ball in the '90s, including Turnstile, Higher Power, Vein.FM, and a live Jesus Piece video (shot by hate5six, who also worked on Under The Skin). They also advertised exclusive Under The Skin and "Mud Television" merch during the stream, which you can still buy.
Before Under The Skin began, Code Orange showed a collage of actual MTV Unplugged footage, and then proceeded to do their own performance, which took some definite cues from Nirvana and Alice In Chains' classic Unplugged performances. Code Orange included a killer cover of Alice In Chains' "Down In A Hole" in their set too. They were aided by a string section, and like Last Ones Left: In Fear of the End, their performance was interspersed with visuals, including horror flick-style footage, a clip of Type O Negative's Peter Steele (RIP), and more. The whole thing was just as ambitious and fleshed-out as Last Ones Left: In Fear of the End, and Code Orange sounded fantastic. Like all the best MTV Unplugged performances, Code Orange made sure to choose a setlist that would sound good in this context, and they truly reinvented their songs. This wasn't a livestream that was acoustic out of necessity; Code Orange really approached the Unplugged-style performance as an art form, and they very much succeeded at doing so. (And it wasn't just acoustic; there were some electric guitars and synths too.) The whole set was good, but if you watch just one song, "Sulfur Surrounding" was breathtaking.
If you missed the stream and/or want to rewatch it, check out the archived video and the full setlist below.
Bleeding in the Blur
Who I Am
Autumn and Carbine
Only One Way / The Easy Way
Down in a Hole (Alice in Chains cover)
dream2 / Dreams in Inertia
Hurt Goes On