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vs self at 191 Toole | skramz perfection

Show Lineup: vs self, upnow!, journal, after tomorrow

Genre(s): emo, hardcore, midwest emo screamo, skramz,

Venue: 191 toole

Date: 3/30/24


(Authors Note: Hey Everyone! Sorry, I wanted this article up sooner. Website kept deleting it. Think I've got it sorted now.)

As I walked out of this show, I remarked to one of my friends that this would likely be the best show I ever see in Tucson. It was an intensely cathartic night for myself as well as many in the audience, and we got a stunning performance from one of the best SoCal screamo bands to do it, the one and only vs self. (a sidenote: you might see many bands in this specific genre of screamo choose to identify more with the label "skramz", as a way of distancing themselves from bands that American mainstream culture associate with screamo, bands like Bring Me the Horizon, Pierce the Veil, and Sleeping with Sirens. This style of screamo tends to draw more from older bands like Orchid, Saetia, and pg.99).

Opening first was local Tucson band after tomorrow, who might be the only local screamo band we have (correct me if this is wrong). They gave a really good performance, and the audience was warmed up for the rest of the show.

(after tomorrow)

Next up was journal, who gave one of the best performances from an opener I’ve ever seen. I previously knew about them from their split with seahorse choke, but the dramatic performance their vocalist gave made me eager to check out more of their stuff. She would scream into the microphone and clutch onto her bass for dear life, giving the performance her all emotionally. Really great stuff. Their lead guitarist also has some great vocals. Also they look like a young Thurston Moore.


Then, upnow! went on for their supposedly second show ever. I couldn’t believe this, because they were incredibly talented, very rhythmically tight with a real love for talking about local and national issues. They seemed to draw influence from bands like Fugazi and certain indie rock acts, while still maintaining that screamo label. It was a nice little switch of genres for the night.

Finally, vs self took the stage to a huge round of applause, before launching into their set. The audience sang along to “Heartache”, danced to “Worthless”, and screamed to “Mourn”. During the set, the band dedicated a new song to the “queers in the audience”, which made me pretty happy to know I was surrounded by similar people. It was a new song off a future 4-way split with some similar bands, which I am very excited about. Finally, the band closed with “Leave Everything”, what I think is their clear masterpiece. It was a great moment to dance, with dozens of people rushing the stage to stagedive. It was an awesome time, and the audience clearly loved it, cheering for one more song. The band acquiesced, and played their older song “ti esrever”, and we danced for a little while longer.

(This was the only picture I got of vs self for the night! Had to make sure I didn't lose my phone while I danced!)

All in all, this was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. The band is touring all around the U.S this next month or so, and they’ll be joined by party hats and knumears along the way, two other fantastic bands from this community. Go out and support these bands, catch a show if you have the chance, dance like nobody is watching, and scream along to their emotionally charged anthems.

Reviewer Name: Micah Dalton

Date of Review: 3/31/24

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