Bumbershoot usually brings together old and new bands into one collage of music all over the Seattle Center, but you don’t often get the experience of seeing a once-loved local band coming together for a reunion after a five-year hiatus. That’s what Schoolyard Heroes brought to the table on Sunday. After gaining praise in the EMP’s Sound Off competition back in 2003, their energetic alternative goth rock garnered a huge audience, and it sadly only lasted to 2009. Here’s hoping this reunion was not a one-off thing, because it’s like they never stopped playing shows – that’s how good they were.
Vocalist Ryann Donnelly owned the stage better than anyone else the whole weekend, and put on a better show than anyone I’ve seen in a long time. It also didn’t hurt that the crowd was filled with the most excited group of kids all weekend. Seriously, how cool would it be to have your favorite band play a reunion show at the festival that essentially started it all?
Schoolyard Heroes found their niche in this city, and since they stopped making records, there truly hasn’t been another band like them around – at least not coming out of Seattle. They embodied the ecstatic youthful angst that permeated the teenage years of the now-twenty-somethings, and it came rolling back with a vengeance. It was nostalgia that I never thought I wanted, but it was a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Schoolyard Heroes’ performance was one of those shows that made me wish that I’d gotten into photography earlier than 2009. As Donnelly strutted across the stage and Jonah Bergman swung his curtain of hair around, all I could think of was, “why did I never get a chance to see them before now?!”
Hopefully it won’t be the last time.