In the early ’90s, there were few bands in the Chicago Punk scene with bigger audiences or more cred than Smoking Popes. Rising from a teenage novelty band called Speedstick, guitarist/vocalist Josh Caterer and his brothers Eli (on guitars and backing vocals) and Matt (on bass), along with original drummer Mike Felumlee, retooled themselves as Smoking Popes and began accruing a slavishly loyal fan base through non-stop gigging and sporadic vinyl releases.
Over the years, the band has been through a Spinal Tappish procession of drummers (Neil Hennessey from The Lawrence Arms has been the beat-keeper since 2008). But make no mistake: The Popes are back in town, and they’re still smoking.
The Smoking Popes headline the free MidPoint Indie Summer Series Friday at Fountain Square, following opening sets by Oh No Boiling Acid!, The Tigerlilies and Koala Fires. Read Brian Baker's Sound Advice preview of Smoking Popes here.