With the sheer quantity of shows I’m seeing these days, very seldom do I recognize mid-performance, or even after the fact, that what I’m witnessing ranks among the best shows I’ve been to. Sure, somewhat recent examples may include my first experience with Frank Turner, or photographing Daikaiju inducing utter mayhem in a wall-to-wall packed club. But this Codefendants show may rank higher than both of those, holding a more significant spot than almost any show of my recent memory, and for a variety of reasons.
I’ll be the first to reveal that, initially, I wasn’t super fond of Codefendants, for no other reason than I didn’t give them the time of day. I’ve mentioned in the past that my musical preferences are extremely closed-minded and, for the most part, I’m very set in my ways. So when I first caught wind of the project featuring the trio of Fat Mike-Sam King-Ceschi Ramos, I didn’t have much interest in exploring the newly termed genre of “crime wave”. It wasn’t until close to three weeks after their full-length, This Is Crime Wave, hit streaming that I gave it a chance. And when I say this record may be a game-changer for me, I’ll be surprised if anything dethrones this thing from the top spot on my ongoing Records of the Year list. Even now, nearly a month after finally giving This Is Crime Wave a fair shot, I find myself listening to it on the daily.
With this record came a newfound respect for all the artists featured on the release. This release, more so than really any others in my recent recollection, showcases an insane amount of songwriting dynamic, displaying a kind of musicianship that appeals to fans of genres that have seemingly no similarities to punk rock. I found myself holding the songwriting of Sam King, Ceschi Ramos, Fat Mike, and even Stacey Dee, to a higher regard, as well as diving into the legendary career of the DOC and digging into what Onry Ozzborn’s extensive catalog has to offer. This is one of those records that I can cite as helping to expand my musical taste a little bit further outside the strict confines of punk, a feat that is becoming more and more difficult to achieve.
After recognizing the grasp that this release took on my airwaves, I was already looking forward to this show. Any chance to hang with the Zeta dudes is time well-spent, especially getting to see them back a band that’s gaining significant momentum. Additionally, this would be my first in-person run-in with both Ceschi and King, two guys whose prior projects I’ve followed pretty closely as well.
This show had it all, blowing every expectation I had out of the water. Codefendants, featuring their mesh of hip-hop, punk, and just straight-up lyrical-badassery, had two openers that fit right in with fans of hip-hop or punk rock.
Rap Ferreira leaned more towards hip-hop, but gave me major Chris Farren vibes with his one-man-band type of performance. Armed with only a microphone and what I can only assume was a small table full of electronics that do tons of cool stuff that I don’t know shit about, Ferreira achieved a stage presence and flair that rivals many full bands I’ve encountered.
I continue to enjoy Zeta‘s live show more each time I come out, even with this being my fifth show of theirs in the last year, with at least one more scheduled for June. They’re a killer bunch of dudes that have poured their life into playing music and I envy the hell out of their dedication and motivation. I was beyond pumped when the announcement came of them playing this tour, and I was even with Juanchi (featured right) when the announcement came through.
Their musical style is hard to pin down, but I’ll settle on the experimental-punk label. I mean it’s hard to pin a band down to one genre when all their shows end with each member playing different percussion within a drum circle. But I hope to not spoil too much as I’ve got an interview with 50% of Zeta due out very soon.
Holy shit were these guys good. Codefendants sounded as professional as anyone I’ve seen and I was in pure awe watching some true professionals go to work.
What stuck with me more was seeing their emotion shine through, reinforcing how much they had previously revealed that these songs meant to them (interview due out very soon as well). I found myself once again realizing that punk’s honesty and genuine nature are what I truly love about the world’s greatest fucking genre.
Having had the pleasure of catching Codefendants first ever tour was one for the books, and I’m still riding a high from this show as I’m doing this write-up. Both Zeta and Codefendants are absolute workhorses, so do yourself a huge favor and catch them live. Codefendants has been on all the Punk in Drublic dates and were recently announced as openers for Avenged Sevenfold as well, so catch a show and have a ball just like I did. Zeta has an upcoming full US tour with recently announced Festers Sparta, so go say what’s up to four of the nicest dudes I’ve ever met.
As always, thanks for checking out the site. Cheers!