Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dan Vapid & the Cheats show review/set list (5.27.11)

Friday night was the first show for Dan Vapid & the Cheats, which was held at the Cobra Lounge in Chicago. Off the bat, it was an interesting crowd. I eavesdropped while hiding behind my $3 tall can of Old Style, and heard British accents in several groups. A guy named Tor from Norway came out and introduced himself to me, and I know other Europeans made the trip as well. I talked briefly with two girls from England who came out but their accent was so heavy and the music playing over the PA was so overly loud, that I couldn't hear a thing they said.

Sheboygan, Wisc. pop-punk rockers, The Jetty Boys opened the night. Lead singer/guitarist Drew Fredrichsen is a great entertainer with a very active stage-presence. Even if you don't like the music, it's hard to take your eyes off the stage because it's entertaining. I've seen The Jetty Boys a number of times now, and it's always fun and they seem to get the crowd into it. The Kurt Baker Band played next, sandwiched between the Jetty Boys and the curious Dan Vapid band. Kurt Baker was great - he played a number of Leftovers tunes, which I was all about. I've seen The Leftovers a bunch of times, and they were great. Mike Byrne of The Methadones was supposed to play guitar for them, but I don't think he wanted to do double duty that night, as he was playing lead guitar for Dan Vapid & the Cheats. They were great though - infectious punk-rock influenced power pop. Like Fredrichsen, Baker captivated the audience with his dancing, engagement of the crowd and positive egotism, reminiscent of Joe Jackson or Elvis Costello. The Kurt Baker Band was excellent.

Finally, the moment I'd been waiting for - Dan Vapid & the Cheats. I knew the lineup was 3/4 Methadones (Dan Schafer, Mike Byrne, Mike Soucy) and 1/4 Screeching Weasel 2k10 (Simon Lamb). They opened up with The Methadones' "Say Goodbye To Your Generation." Pete Mittler (Methadones) came up and played bass on a few tunes, which was great for me, because a part of me thought I'd never see my favorite live band ever again, and lo and behold, they were playing all together on a stage Friday night. It was short-lived, and Lamb returned to bass. During "Someday" by Sludgeworth, Joe Principe (Rise Against) took over on bass, and looked like he was having a great time up there with Dan, Mike B. and Mike S. They played a fair amount of The Mopes ("The World Don't Revolve Around You," "My Heart Won't Bleed For You," "Baby Doll," etc.), Sludgeworth ("Someday," "Anytime," etc.), Methadones ("Say Goodbye To Your Generation," "Bored of Television," "Transistor Radio," etc.) and The Riverdales ("Make Way," "Heart Out of Season," "Crash of the Moons," etc.) songs as well as Screeching Weasel's "High School Psychopath," which Schafer told us he wrote after high school. They also played a new one called "I Could Be Into You (If You Were Into Me)," which will appear on The Black Sheep Band LP that both Schafer and Byrne recorded on. They had Black Sheep Cafe chef James Toland up on stage to sing backup vocals. During The Riverdales' "Crash of the Moons," Adam Cargin of The Riverdales 2k10 came up and gave Soucy a break on drums. It was fun interacting with Byrne. I even brought a yellow guitar pick in my pocket to throw in his mouth (I missed). They also played a cover of the Pointed Sticks' "Out of Luck," which appears on The Methadones' "21st Century Power Pop" album.

The show was a good time, and while I know a lot of people from out of town were bummed that they couldn't see Screeching Weasel, I enjoyed myself more Friday night than I would have had I saw Screeching Weasel. I like all Dan's bands more, and the songs are better, in my opinion. The Cheats didn't have any merch, which was something I was curious about. I did pick up a free two-song CD from Kurt Baker with the songs, "Why You Gotta Lie" and "Don't Steal My Heart Away." I had a great night, which only got better Saturday and Sunday.

Set List:
Say Goodbye To Your Generation (The Methadones)
Make Way (The Riverdales)
Heart Out of Season (The Riverdales)
Baby Doll (The Mopes)
Transistor Radio (The Methadones)
Back To You (The Riverdales)
High School Psychopath (Screeching Weasel)
Diabolik (The Riverdales)
I Don't Wanna Go To the Party (The Riverdales)
Bored of Television (The Methadones)
My Heart Won't Bleed For You (The Mopes)
I Don't Wanna Live Forever (The Riverdales)
The World Don't Revolve Around You Anymore (The Mopes)
I Could Be Into You (If You Were Into Me) (The Black Sheep Band)
Riverdale Stomp (The Riverdales)
Crash of the Moons (The Riverdales)
3-2-1 (The Methadones)
Turning Up the Noise (The Methadones)
Anytime (Sludgeworth)
Someday feat. Joe Principe (Sludgeworth)
Far Away (The Methadones)
Out of Luck (The Methadones' Pointed Sticks cover)
I Don't Know How To Say Goodbye (The Mopes)

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