T1 Fest - Live in Chicago (Cover Artwork)

T1 Fest

Live in Chicago (2022)

live show

T1 fest is an annual fest organized to raise both funds and awareness for type 1 diabetes. Many bands came together this past weekend at Reggie’s Rock Club in Chicago for this wonderful event. Friday highlighted bands such as scene veterans Nerf Herder alongside more contemporary pop punkers Direct Hit!, Zoanoids and Tightwire. I attended the second day of this weekend which was headlined by a recently reunited Methadones. Details of this day follow below.

Self-proclaimed poolside glitter trash punks Hayley and the Crushers kicked off the evening. This band has been on my “must see live” list for a number of years. I have previously reviewed a couple of their releases. This band promotes harder than anyone in the scene. Hayley and husband Dr Reid Cain practically take dual front man/woman duties on stage with a strong presence. Their brand of surf punk went over well with the crowd. Their set included songs from their albums on Eccentric Pop, including their covers of Ramones “Teenage Lobotomy” and “Los Angeles” by X.

Chicago local punks CapGun Heroes followed next. The band’s passion for their cause arises from singer Joe CapGun’s children who both live with Type 1 Diabetes. The band was on fire from the get go. It has been fun watching the band continue to gain popularity not only locally but across the nation. The band recently performed a number of west coast shows earlier in the year. This set contained well-known songs from their debut album such as “Back It Up”, “That Girl” and “Waiting”. In addition, fan favorite “Judy” from the debut EP was performed. The band also treated the crowd to a number of yet to be recorded new tracks. A final highlight of the performance was the band leading the crowd in a chant of “Fuck T1”!

Dan Vapid and the Cheats made their second Chicago appearance of the year over the weekend. Their recent release “Escape Velocity” was one of my favorite releases of 2021. For this performance the band was joined by Methadones drummer Mike Soucy. The band played what seemed like a quick no-nonsense set which spanned the bands discography well. New favorites such as “Burning Questions” and “Cyber World” got the crowd rocking hard. Classic Cheats material such as “Miracle Drug” were not excluded. As much as we are all fans of Dan’s career, I am glad that they seem to focus solely on Cheats material as opposed to reaching back through the Riverdales catalog.

The Josh Caterer Trio were up next. Previously I had only seen random videos of previous performances. I was not sure what to expect as I had seen footage of Smoking Popes material performed in a more down tempo speed. As expected, Josh and company played many Popes classics such as “I Know You Love Me”, “Megan” and “I Need You Around”. Josh’s daughter lended her vocals to a number of songs as well. Josh seemed honored and humbled to be performing this fest as his mother dealt with Type 1 diabetes as well. This set overall was a very welcome surprise.

After 7 years, the Methadones made their return to the stage. Previous shows were sidelined due to the pandemic. Both the band and crowd were more than ready for the performance. Cheats guitarist Simon Lamb has replaced long-time Methadone Mike Byrne. Honestly not much can be said other than the band was near perfect. The band seemed relaxed and well-rehearsed as they blazed through their set covering most of their career. “Say Goodbye To Your Generation” was the number that really set Reggie’s into a frenzy early on. It was only upward from their. Many well-known songs like “Ammunition”, “Mess We Made” and “I’m About to Crack” made its way to the set. Dan interacted well with the crowd. Pete Mittler’s bass cut through the mix like a jackhammer. The band returned for an encore which concluded with “So Far Away”. I believe additional shows are currently being planned.

T1 was a major success in its first live incarnation following the pandemic. Major recognition needs to be given to CapGun Heroes bassist Jimmy Costanza who organizes an amazing lineup of bands each year to support this great cause. It was good to see so many folks from all over the country who are in the pop punk bubble come out in full force to support. Fuck T1!