Vaux / Much The Same / Kristin Forbes

Vaux / Much The Same / Kristin Forbes: live in Des Moineslive in Des Moines (2003)
Volcom Entertainment

Reviewer Rating: 4

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

Ah, the Monday night show in the [relatively] middle-of-nowhere. Bands dread it due to consistently poor turnouts, concertgoers dread it due to having to wake up the next morning for work, venue employees dread it due to the general lack of energy [and persons] in the club that night. Well, Vaux.

Ah, the Monday night show in the [relatively] middle-of-nowhere. Bands dread it due to consistently poor turnouts, concertgoers dread it due to having to wake up the next morning for work, venue employees dread it due to the general lack of energy [and persons] in the club that night.

Well, Vaux changed all that, and how.

But first, we must document the trip up until that point. Moldy and I, against our better judgement, ventured nearly 3 hours west of our current position into Des Moines, Iowa. For the record, Des Moines sucks shit. Everything is under construction, everything is a one-way, everything is closed. Confusing as fuck. We finally got to the venue, Vaudeville Mews, at around 9pm and proceeded to retch at one of the openers, Stuck With Arthur.

This band was beyond terrible. Their median age was somewhere around 16, I'd say. Their merch guy? THEIR MOM. No joke. They played 100% by the books pop-punk, shitty 60's cover song included [of course]. Right as they finished, they packed up and got out of there before any other band played, as did all their fans. The reason being? My guess was that it was close to 10pm, and they all had school the next day. Seriously.

So after that debacle, Rhode Island-by-way-of-Boston singer/songwriter Kristin Forbes set up to a largely apathetic [and dwindling] crowd. Her morose indie rock sounded a bit like a less hippie Ani Difranco, and didn't really do anything for me at all. She was losing her voice, so any time she sang in a higher octave it sounded really awkward and forced. I felt bad that she drove 6 hours to play this show in front of roughly 2 dozen people, but them's the breaks.

Chicago's Much The Same were up next, and the remainder of the crowd gathered around the tiny stage to catch the A-F Records band in action. It was melodic-hardcore by the numbers, but in a positive way. The band's sound reminded me of Fat Wreck punk in between Good Riddance and Rise Against - there were definite hardcore moments as well as definite pop-punk moments. Singer Gunner has a really strong voice and could definitely take this band to better places. They played such songs as "Quitters Never Win," "Wish," and a whole bunch more off their A-F Records debut. While they didn't blow me away [and nowadays, very few straightahead punk bands do], I would definitely go watch them again [and next time will hopefully be with a bigger crowd].

And now, the reason that Moldy and I [and maybe 5 other people] came to the show - Colorado sextet Vaux. This was the band's first headlining tour in some time, which allowed them to bust out their much-talked-about fog and light show. As cheesy as you may think it sounds, it rocked the room into oblivion for their entire set. One of Vaux's members is more or less dedicated to simply running those lights with the music, it's rather impressive.

Vaux's high-energy and high-intensity set was culled mainly from their phenomenonal full-length There Must Be Some Way To Stop Them [review]. Songs like "Shot In The Back," "Switched On," "Broke The Breaks" and the killer "Fame" really got what little crowd there was psyched up, and watching the band perform this well in front of so few people made you wonder just how good they are in front of hundreds.

The group did play one new song, tentatively entitled "Fire." It was more melodic than most Vaux material, but still had plenty of places for headbanging and air guitar riffing. The band also did what many would deem impossible - cover a Radiohead song and actually pull it off. The song in question? Hail To The Theif's "Myxomatosis." The band took the spooky rhythm and really made it their own, honestly making me forget that the song was a cover by the end of it. Well done.

Before the band wrapped things up, they slowed things down a bit with the smoldering "Four Cornered Lives." It really showcased their musicianship - anyone can play fast, but it takes skill to play slowly and still not lose any energy or intensity.

Vaux tied their set up with a phenomenonal rendition of album opener "Set It To Blow," and as they left the stage covered in fog, eeriely glowing lights, and the loudest applause 20 people can muster, I had to ask myself why a band this good is having their records being sold on half.com for only 75 cents. It's not right, if you ask me. Not right at all.

So was the show worth the 6 hour total drive, mostly through rain? Was it worth getting lost multiple times? Was it worth not getting home until 4am, only to have to go to work at 5am?

Yes. Yes yes yes yes and yes. Go see Vaux. I've used the words "energetic" and "intense" [or variations of the theme] a number of times in this review, and for good reason - there's no two better words to describe them.


People who liked this also liked:
Elliott - False CathedralsAlkaline Trio - I Lied My Face OffCopeland - Beneath Medicine TreeGlassjaw - Worship and TributeLatterman - ...We Are Still AliveLatterman - No Matter Where We Go..!Every Time I Die - Hot Damn!Set Your Goals - Mutiny!Tuesday - Freewheelin'Less Than Jake - Hello Rockview

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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 24, 2003)

"Question: I thought it was pronounced (V-oh), but I've heard people like Gerard from MCR pronounce it (V-ah-ks), as in the fairly-generic electronics company Audiovox. Which is it?"

They pronounce it Vox.

Anonymous (November 23, 2003)

scott, that was a compliment.

Anonymous (November 23, 2003)

This score is for people who leave early (without knowing for a fact that they don't like what they're missing)

maverick (November 21, 2003)

I'll take that as a compliment, thankyouverymuch.


Anonymous (November 21, 2003)

Scott looks like if a young Michael Moore decided to go into pro wrestling as a profession.

moldy (November 20, 2003)

Sweet!! i got my internet back and i still havent paid my bill! hahahaha Suckers!!

maverick (November 20, 2003)

I don't remember seeing you, but if you noticed the two guys playing pinball and pool in the balcony, that was Moldy and myself.


yellowtrash (November 20, 2003)

Because our city sucks and they decided to remodel the whole damn thing by building roads, closing down buildings downtown, and have contractors suing each other to build a new events center. Not a very bright thing to do.

greenandtangerine (November 20, 2003)

WHy is EVERYTHING under construction? Just decided to do it all over again?

Anonymous (November 19, 2003)

Des Moines always has shitty turn outs everyone fights...Much the Same can put on a really good live show

Eddie (November 19, 2003)

Ummm...brown Dickies...green long-sleeve button-up shirt...black sweatshirt...black Chucks. I was mostly watching from the upstairs area. And I actually did end up leaving after Stuck with Arthur, but that was just because the guy I rode with was leaving. I really wanted to see Krisin Forbes--sounded like it would have been really interesting. I also missed the Ted Leo show the week before (but that was in Ames). :(

maverick (November 19, 2003)

You were there, Eddie? What were you wearing?


Anonymous (November 19, 2003)

Sorry, Planes Mistaken For Stars does not suck.

Eddie (November 19, 2003)

Hey! I was at this show. Would it suprise you to know that the guys in Stuck with Arthur are good friends of mine? ;)

yellowtrash (November 19, 2003)

Haha...you actually drove to Des Moines. Going at night isn't the best time due to construction. I hope you find your way out.

Anonymous (November 19, 2003)

Why the fuck doesnt anybody try and copy good bands? We already have a fucking Planes Mistaken For Stars and they already suck. We dont need a shittier version.

Anonymous (November 19, 2003)

"2. My friend, Andy lives in Iowa, was he there?

3. How come you didn't say "Hi" to him for me?"

OH MY GOD!! I'm going to stalk you.
damn it boy...

skankin_in_the_pit (November 18, 2003)

Man did I feel sorry for Vaux when I saw them open for Leftover Crack. They weren't exactly what a LOC crowd was expecting. They got so much shit thrown at them and were heckled 10 times more then any band I've ever seen. I didn't think they were bad but they didn't fit in with the other bands.

ElVaquero (November 18, 2003)

don't leave off the rest scott:

3. The breaking up of ice in a river.
4. A violent flood.

that band was also those things. heh.

maverick (November 18, 2003)

I always thought it was pronounced just how it was written, but based on what he said from the stage last night it's simply "vox."


inagreendase (November 18, 2003)

Question: I thought it was pronounced (V-oh), but I've heard people like Gerard from MCR pronounce it (V-ah-ks), as in the fairly-generic electronics company Audiovox. Which is it?

maverick (November 18, 2003)

Debacle, according to Merriam Webster, means "a : a great disaster b : a complete failure". This band was both.


ElVaquero (November 18, 2003)

scott, doesn't debacle mean crushing defeat? doesn't that not make sense now? aren't i an ass about a language i don't even like?

Anonymous (November 18, 2003)

I saw Vaux here in Cincinnati with AWK a while ago, and they were exactly how the reviewer described them. Totally rocking band.


superdude (November 18, 2003)

This review was good, but here's how I'd makeit better:

1. Isn't Des Moines in Iowa? Crazy.

2. My friend, Andy lives in Iowa, was he there?

3. How come you didn't say "Hi" to him for me?

4. Andy's a pretty nice guy, isn't he?

P-Fresh (November 18, 2003)

I saw these guys with supporting Andrew WK in detroit a while back, and they were boring as fuck, they didn't rock out at ALL.

notfeelingcreative (November 18, 2003)

I saw Vaux open for boysetsfire not bad, not great! Much the same were stupposed to be here in a couple of weeks with Near Miss, but the fuckin' tour was cancelled!! Anyhow, I wouldve gone for Much The Same!

Jesse (November 18, 2003)

That 75 cent CD better be good...cause I just bought it.

thebouncingsoul (November 18, 2003)

yeah, being near the rockford illinois area, i know all about poor turnouts, it usually kills a show


Anonymous (November 18, 2003)

Poor show turnouts always tend to ruin the 'mood.' When I saw Bear vs. Shark and Liars Academy last week there was only 10 people there. About eight stayed for Liars Academy.

I still had a good time, but it's a lot more fun when there's a ton of people getting into the music.

I know my brother has the Vaux record, I'll check it out...

- Scott

Anonymous (November 18, 2003)

I just can't get into Vaux. I find their sound annoying. Then again, look at some of the crap I listen to.


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