Vaux / Just Love / Schoolyard Heroes - live in Arlington Heights (Cover Artwork)

Vaux / Just Love / Schoolyard Heroes

live in Arlington Heights (2006)

live show

There was a local band, but you know what? I'm going to save you a bunch of time (they sounded like the bastard child of Thursday and Senses Fail) and get to the first group worthy of your attention, Denver's Schoolyard Heroes. Take one spoonful of My Chemical Romance, take another from Vaux and the Bronx, add the evil version of Agent M from Tsunami Bomb, and voila! Schoolyard Heroes.

Their singer pranced around onstage like, yes, the evil version of Agent M, switching between an indecphierable howl and a soft singing voice, occasionally indulging in some Madonna-esque floor huggings while the rythm section kept things appreciably moving, even when slowing down or starting up again. It's quite a sight when the female lead singer has more testicles than the entire last group that preceded her.

The less said about local group Just Love, the better.

Alright, that's being overly harsh. Just Love appears to be a group playing fourth-rate Taking Back Sunday-style emo for their friends. Whatever, it's a high school band. I can't in my right mind shit talk a group of guys going out playing some jams with their friends, right? But I know you guys can. Their performance wasn't anything exciting to me, but I'll admit, I'm biased from wanting to see Vaux, but shit, here I am again, applying heavy scrutiny to a high school band playing at a Knights of Columbus. Their friends were around, at least 3 rungs of people on all sides, and hey, they had fun.

After Just Love cleared out, Vaux started to set up their instruments with maybe 20 people around, down from an easy 75, and predictably, there was something wrong with the monitor. The band appeared to say fuck it, and played.

Admittedly, I hadn't seen Vaux in a couple years (that one was with Andrew W.K., in fact...), but what I remember about Vaux's set that time came alive right in front of me; Quentin jumped around onstage like the stage was made of coals, while somehow, the silhouettes of the other band members moving around far less only added to the show. There's just something about looking to your left and seeing the guitarrist's neck veins appear on backing vocals in "are those things gonna burst?" forcefulness and then looking straight ahead to see the drummer lay down beats like the drums had pimpslapped his sister.

Their set list was as follows:

  • Cocaine James
  • Switched On
  • Burn the Bandwagon
  • (a couple songs I can't remember)
  • Never Better
  • Are You with Me?
  • Set It to Blow
Yes, it was a short set, and it appears a show the next day in CBGBs and an overzealous venue operator cut that short. But, hopefully I'll catch them again at Warped.