The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday December 5th

Local Band Bids Frontman Farewell With Go! Concert

My Code Name is Blue and departing frontman played a mellow but emotionally charged set at Go! Studios.

3 Stars

Sometimes it's a nice time to sit in Go! Rehearsal Studios Room 4's carpeted balcony and simply listen to some laid-back indie rock.

My Code Name is Blue was indeed laid-back as it delivered its final show with San Francisco-bound frontman Matt Brown on Thursday night.

As far as indie rock goes, the group was pretty standard, but its use of a cello added a dramatic element to its songs about love, girls and breaking up.

Starting somewhat slowly, the show finally picked up when the band brought in a mandolin and a slide guitar to further spice up its set.

Yet inventive instrumentals aside, guitarist and lead vocalist Brown embodied the band. Talking to the crowd incessantly, Brown understood that the experience of a good show requires more than just music.

Slicing through a moderately talkative crowd, the band began the set's first song with only an acoustic guitar and cello. After three minutes of a pleasant, slow intro, the band came in forcefully with clean, safe rock. This road-tested formula continued throughout most of the show.

The lack of variation present in its live show will not soon propel the band onto a major label, but the members seemed like they could care less. The band's fans looked like they would tend to agree.

And agree they did as the band played on, fueled by emotion.

Its song, "The Kind of Promises You Can't Break," drew smiles from the room. Down-tempo with the band's drummer playing a nice little slide guitar, the song was the best heard on a mellow night around the Chapel Hill area.

Next up, Brown belted out a song that actually moved, singing, "I know that you want love too, so please starting letting it come true." Sappy, yes, but at it was a nice change of pace. Conjuring the sounds of both the comparably-subdued Balsa Gliders and of Counting Crows, My Code Name is Blue had the crowd actually on the verge of dancing.

Then came the next song. With only an acoustic guitar and a mandolin, Brown tried to bring out the tears with a token breakup song.

Later, in "Illiagnes and Marshell," out came another song about relationships. He went on about girls and even digressed into singing about some girl's red underwear.

As the material got more involved and personal, the band stepped it up. Bongos were played and even the cello started to get funky.

Standing up for the first time all night, Brown broke out the electric guitar for the band's next song. The tempo was at its peak, and the crowd got to see the band's range with Brown on board one last time.

While Chapel Hill will not perish with Brown's departure, My Code Name is Blue will certainly miss him, as will its many fans. He put passion in his songs on Thursday night and it worked -- sometimes that's all you want out of a show.

The Arts & Entertainment Editor can be reached at

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