Smoking Popes - At Metro [CD/DVD] (Cover Artwork)

Smoking Popes

Smoking Popes: At Metro [CD/DVD]At Metro [CD/DVD] (2006)
Victory Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: blade-runnerblade-runner
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I'd like to assume that the majority of users on this site are familair with pop-punk royalty Smoking Popes. I would make such an assumption on the basis of one argument alone: that they are one of the most influential and important "punk" bands of the past 20 years. Sure, it's been said before abou.
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I'd like to assume that the majority of users on this site are familair with pop-punk royalty Smoking Popes. I would make such an assumption on the basis of one argument alone: that they are one of the most influential and important "punk" bands of the past 20 years. Sure, it's been said before about dozens of bands, some worthy, some not, and I'm sure the aforementioned statement will seem a tired cliché to some. But when it comes to the Popes, I feel such a desription is honest and necessary. On November 11, 2005, they performed a sold out reunion show at Chicago's Metro, and this is the documentation of that memorable event.

A two-disc CD/DVD set, At Metro contains 19 tracks from the last show ever to be performed by the group, the last time you'll ever hear those delightfully melancholy lyrics sung out by the pleasant, crooning Josh Caterer. The album begins with an instrumental, "Ramblin' Rose," which flows effortlessly into "Off My Mind," a track originally released on the much-lauded album Get Fired. From there we are guided through an assortment of gems including "Midnight Moon," "Writing a Letter" with its pleasant chorus of "ba-ba-da-da-da-da," "Megan," "Before I'm Gone," "Need You Around" and "I Know You Love Me." There are no breaks between songs, and audience particaption is in abundance (see "Pretty Pathetic"); this is the way live albums, and performances for that matter, should be done. The disc closes with one of the band's first written songs, "Brand New Hairstyle," followed by the chant of "Smoking Popes, Smoking Popes, Smoking Popes...!"

The DVD captures the full 23-track concert, and truly encapsulates the sentimentel value that this colllection of songs holds. You'd be in luck to find a better live album than this post-1980, and the DVD completes the package (if you were lucky enough to get in early at Interpunk and get the signed poster, that helps too).

What else must be said, this album is essential. Victory has done a great job with the release, and you'll not find a more comprehensive Popes release. It provides a great introduction to the band, and as for the fans, well, I'm sure this has already made its way into your collection. And you'd be impressed, wouldn't you?


People who liked this also liked:
Bad Brains - I Against IMinus the Bear - Planet of IceAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitOperation Ivy - Operation IvyThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldDismemberment Plan - Emergency & IFugazi - The ArgumentJawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapySex Pistols - Spunk: The Official BootlegFucked Up - Year of the Dog [12 inch]

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (March 14, 2006)

Love the album. Love the band. Loved getting to see them live again. I guess I've really gotten old because I don't understand all this crap about how they don't do anything on stage--do you want them to jump up and down or something? Their playing is great. If you don't like bald heads close your eyes. What the hell. But like I said I'm old.

So anyway I was so totally pro-Popes, but after visiting the "Harvest Bible Chapel" church's website I'm much less enchanted. I think (hope!) that a minister from a church that teaches that same-sex attraction is a sin and that the Bible makes clear that women shouldn't be in certain positions of authority and that evolution is wrong is not . . . about to hit the big time in 2006.

But then again, there's a lot of weird crap happening these days.

Still, I'm Not That Kind of Girlfriend and Before I'm Gone do rock. Also Brand New Hairstyle.

Anonymous (March 13, 2006)

Yeaahhh fuck gay people you stupid homo!!!
punk rock hates queers!!!!

Anonymous (March 13, 2006)

To this guy:

"They ain't purty, they sure as fuck ain't teenagers, and that market is not going to embrace them like they have embraced, say, Fall Out Boy or the Alkaline Trio.
Sorry baldie, too late!"

Have you ever SEEN Fall Out Boy? If you think that those guys are good lookin', you've got some issues! Also, you don't get more bald than Dan from the Trio. Doesn't seem to be giving him any problems.

I think that you should think a little bit about why you like the music that you do. Being good looking does not mean you make good music.

...and if you are into handsome dudes, maybe a site about punk music isn't where you should be hanging out. I think the internet is FULL of places that you may be more at homo. Sorry... I meant "home".

Scruffy (March 12, 2006)

First, Capital Christine is an awesome song. I'll admit it.
Second, The Smoking Popes are better than Duvall. It's true. Compare anything Duvall did with "No More Smiles" and/or "Not That Kind Of Girlfriend".

Anonymous (March 12, 2006)

We DO edit the reviews, usually just for spelling and punctuation.

yeah right

feeeding5000 (March 12, 2006)

Awwww...how cute!

Anonymous (March 12, 2006)

Kinda bummed that a handful of songs got cut from the CD for "time constraints," but the CD clocks in at 59 minutes and the DVD is barely 75. So, why all the songs couldn't be on the audio portion, I have no idea.

As with comparing it to the previous live album: It's a tough call. There's slightly different song selection on this show, and Rob Kellenberger kills on the drums, which makes me want to pick the new one, but the little crowd noises and short spurts of dialogue on the original one are just engrained in my memory, especially Josh's Jesus speech at the end of it.


Bowen (March 12, 2006)

I think the point is this. The Popes broke up quite a while ago. For alot of people, this tour represents a chance to see them. Regardless of whatever agenda they have or you think they have, it's awfully nice to get to watch a band you thought you'd never see play songs that you love.

Anonymous (March 12, 2006)

"Morrissey's favorite band, nya, nya, nyaaaa..."

I can guarantee you Morrissey wouldn't/won't have ANYTHING TO DO with a Kook (Josh) who is a minister in a church that espouses overtly sexist and homophobic beliefs.

Morrissey might've liked the Popes at one point, but that was 8 years ago. But now Josh has turned into a bible-toting nutbag. I don't think that's exactly congruent with the views of Saint Moz.

If you don't believe me about Caterer's nutbag church, go to his website, click on the Harvest Church icon, click "what we believe" and see for yourself. And I'm figuring that, egad, Josh does believe this stuff since he's a minister there.

If he doesn't believe that stuff yet is still a minister there, he's even more of a hypocritical dirtbag than I thought.

Or has Josh jettissoned his deeply held Christian beliefs so he can rock again in a third rate pop-punk band aspiring be included in the mall emo thing? Did Josh ditch Jesus for Bayside? Haw!

Anyway, the Morrissey/Popes thing is OVER.

And say what you want about the Popes' appearances: The kids they're trying to sell to these days are fashion obsessed. And the Popes are ugly old BALD dorks.

SlackMFr (March 11, 2006)

This score is for whoever typed in those 2 points about 6 comments below this one. Right fucking dead on!!

thefirstfive (March 10, 2006)

They're great live. Sorry they don't spin kick enough for some of you guys.

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

smoking pipes.

md40_07 (March 10, 2006)

Just a question cause I haven't seen or heard this at all yet, but do they do any songs with Baside on here or at least with Anthony? I hope they do because i'm looking forward to getting this.

blade-runner (March 10, 2006)

"last show ever to be performed by the group, the last time you'll ever hear those delightfully melancholy lyrics sung out by the pleasant, crooning Josh Caterer."

Yeah, I screwed that up.

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

That they're Morrisey's "Favourite Band" has to count for something..

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

A couple divergent thoughts.
1) Who the fuck cares how much hair may have been lost from the collective Caterers' heads? Did I accidently stumble onto Tiger Beat online, you douche? Ironic also that you note in the same post the way Alkaline Trio, a band w/ someone who is (gasp!) bald has been embraced by "the kids". The TRL crowd, obviously, will never even hear them, and they're about one minute away from being done with FOB, anyway.
2) Speaking of A3, their music is a clear example of the Popes' musical influence, particularly in Dan's songs (and, of course, in the drums for a bit). As painful as it is to say as a Chicago native, though, I do think the importance of the Popes more generally does get a little overhyped, though. Credit them for what they were: a catchy, fun, dorky pop-punk band that reminded everyone that there's nothing wrong with that.

GlassPipeMurder (March 10, 2006)

Seeing the Popes tomorrow night at the Metro. 6 hour drive there, 6 hour drive back. no sleep. should be fun.

Inspection12e (March 10, 2006)


Inspection12e (March 10, 2006)

Even though I'm not a big fan of the J-man. Duvall> Smokeing Popes

Vincent_M (March 10, 2006)

As much as I enjoyed their music at the show, I gotta agree with a couple others here: there's almost 0 stage presence from these guys. Yeah, calling Bayside "sweeties" was funny but they didn't *do* anything, hust charged through song after song.

skolarx (March 10, 2006)

the popes were fucking amazing the other night in detroit. nothing i've seen recently has been anywhere near how great they sounded.

boba_fett (March 10, 2006)

umm... aren't they on tour?

if so, that would mean that this dvd does not contain their last show as the review describes.

darkstarm (March 10, 2006)

I think what it brings to the table is an oppurtunity for people who may never get the chance to see an important band live the ability to do just that. I don't see why you have such a vendetta against the popes.

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

Guy P. did (and does) indeed rock the house well into his 30s, or is it beyond now?

Anyway, I think by comparing Guy P. with the Popes, you pointed to my exact reasoning the the DVD does NOTHING to add to the Popes' legacy. While Guy P. is a physical presence: good looking, a great dancer, dramatic and charismatic, the Popes bring NOTHING to the stage and they certainly aren't attractive.

So in what way is the DVD any better than the Popes live CD that came out in 2001? At least that CD was the original lineup. And they played the songs every bit as competently (and much the same) as on the Victory DVD. Face it, the new DVD is just a repackaging of the same old same old. And that's all the Popes have to offer.

When they try to sell new stuff to, ahem, "the kids," they won't buy on a mass scale. Watch and see.

darkstarm (March 10, 2006)

Influential does always mean a million bands are ripping off their sound. It can be more than that. This band is important, good, and fun. They may be bald but they're aren't the fucking rolling stones. Guy Picciotto is the same age as my dad, that doesn't mean that the guy didn't rock the shit out of everything, even when he was in his 30s

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

Yes, the Popes made some great records. But honestly, FACE THE TRUTH:

The Popes bring NOTHING to the stage. They just stand there. Sure, they play competently. But NOTHING is added by the fact that they're on stage; no moves, no drama, nothing.

Plus, they ain't much to look at. And isn't the visual element the reason for having a DVD? They don't do anything, the songs are exactly the same (albiet played competently), as people they're not attractive. I'll sum it up in one four-letter word: BALD.

Yes, I have to admit that the Popes are a big influence on some important bands. Why, without the Popes, there probably wouldn't have been Bayside, the Alkaline Trio and Fall Out Boy, three current bands that are making history and further validating the important creative force known as mallcore.

I think you Chicagoans are overestimating the band's importance. Furthermore, I think that the Popes' present tour will prove this. I mean, they're being marketed to the teen emo market. They ain't purty, they sure as fuck ain't teenagers, and that market is not going to embrace them like they have embraced, say, Fall Out Boy or the Alkaline Trio.

Sorry baldie, too late!

davebrave4 (March 10, 2006)

Goddammit. Why is Victory releasing good music all of a sudden? Can't they just keep it simple and consistently release total shit?

SlackMFr (March 10, 2006)

I just got this DVD and it's cool to watch The Popes playing after a 7 year absence. They sound great and look like their having fun onstage.

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

In my opinion the only bands the Smoking Popes really had a major influence on are Alkaline Trio and Bayside.

Still, great band. Sucks that Let's Hear It For Love isn't on here though. Always been my favourite Popes song.

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

Yeah, I think you are overrating their influence dude. Seriously.


joeg (March 10, 2006)

never heard of this band although i was tempted to login anonymously and give them 10 stars for being a classic band. who have they influenced and when did they do it?

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

To whoever was saying this isn't worh the money, the DVD, as far as I'm concerned, was a great live performance. And even if you're the type to watch it once and shelve it, the package is less than ten bucks. You can't go wrong.

opened_ground (March 10, 2006)

maybe you should admit that you were wrong?

blade-runner (March 10, 2006)


thanks for the tip, dude.

kill yourself.


opened_ground (March 10, 2006)

how does this stack up with the previously released live album?

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

"from the last show ever to be performed by the group, the last time you'll ever hear those delightfully melancholy lyrics sung out by the pleasant, crooning Josh Caterer"

Do you even read this site... they're on tour right now. Your future in journalism has just ended.

opened_ground (March 10, 2006)

Man Ramo, that is some funny shit.

I think Alk3 owe waaaay more to the Smoking Popes than Fall out boy.

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

I hate the promo sticker they slapped on this. Something about "without this band, there will be no Fall Out Boy".

The first time I wondered what life would be like without the Popes...just so FOB wouldn't exist.


opened_ground (March 10, 2006)

fuck that, on second thought, i have a couple cd/dvd releases and I usually watch the dvd once and then shelve it. Not worth the money for casual fans.

opened_ground (March 10, 2006)

is this worth buying for the DVD? I mean, the songs sound great but i have a hard time buying Victory records releases.

branden (March 10, 2006)

i love these guys

but that song capital christine, is quite the excursion into totally fuckin embarassing music. its the type of song you have to skip when youre friends are in the car, you know? fuck, i have to skip it when im alone

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