The Smoking Popes @ The Sail Inn

Location Info


Sail Inn

26 S. Farmer Ave.
Tempe, AZ 85281

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Tempe


The Smoking Popes are scheduled to perform Saturday, March 19, at The Sail Inn in Tempe.

To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever correctly assigned blame for inspiring the squeaky-clean brand of second wave emo/pop-punk plied by bands like Fall Out Boy and Jimmy Eat World. I'll start with FOB's fellow Chicagoans The Smoking Popes. In the early '90s, these lovesick suburbanites carried the proto-emo torch, thanks to the plaintive, nice-guy melodies of singer Josh Caterer (sort of a Morrissey for Hot Topic shoppers, but with little of that Mancunian's knack for tragicomic wordplay). Caterer's stylishly anachronistic crooning, over a conventional palette of hard-charging, Green Day-style backbeats and three-chord guitar blasts, set the Popes apart from the band's punk peers and helped set the stage for the explosion of American mall punk and the affectation-heavy singers of 21st-century indie pop. Around the time his acolytes were blowing up on the radio, Caterer found God and broke up the band. Of course, not even God can stop rock 'n' roll, so the Popes eventually reunited half a decade ago and have been delivering G-rated paeans to girls, girls, and girls ever since. On the Popes' new concept record, This Is Only a Test, Caterer writes about the pains and pleasures of being in high school — as only a 38-year-old family man/born again rocker can.

My Voice Nation Help

Every once in a while, the songs "Megan" and "I Know That You Love Me" get in my head for no apparent reason. That record came out 10 years ago maybe? That's some power. They look gothy, but it's kind of a shtick. The person who does their artwork is largely responsible for the trend of hearts/skulls all over everything marketed to teenagers at Target, too. I don't feel like their marketing aesthetic has anything to do with their sound, it's really weird.

Phoenix Concert Tickets

Concert Calendar

  • April
  • Mon
  • Tue
  • Wed
  • Thu
  • Fri
  • Sat
  • Sun