Trust me when I tell you, this is 60 minutes of pure goodness. Everyone around Chicago knew about Flower 15, the weeklong series of shows taking place at the famed Cabaret Metro intended to help raise money for the arts. Once word of a Smoking Popes reunion came about, tickets went fast. And during a week that saw everyone from Underoath to Jimmy Eat World take the stage, this was by far, the BEST show of the week, as evidenced by the Popes' dual cd/dvd release.
Many who have followed the band since their inception back in 1991 will be incredibly happy with this release. The cd's 19 tracks are a virtual best-of that encapsulates the band's almost decade long career. Josh Caterer and the rest of the Popes flow effortlessly from track to track, with seemingly no trouble transitioning between songs. It can be noted numerous times that they flow right from one track into another with ease.
There are no low points to this album, but high points HAVE to include "Gotta Know Right Now", "Paul", "Megan", and of course, "I Know You Love Me". Being that the Smoking Popes were not only a mainstay of the indie scene not only in Chicago, but in the US during the nineties, they show throughout the cd why they were such an underrated tour de force in their prime.
The accompanying dvd release includes the entire 23 song set from that show November 11, 2005. Just as good as the cd, the dvd tops off an absolutely perfect release. It is well shot, and a great addition to an already great release. Here's hoping that the Popes continue to play the songs that their fans have come to love them for.