Chicago alternative legends Smoking Popes stop into Soundbar with songs old and new


Never the most flashy of the alt-rock vanguard of the 1990s, Chicago’s Smoking Popes still scored big with underground-gone-overground hits “Need You Around” and “Rubella” from major-label debut Born to Quit in 1994. Even more lucratively than that, the album caught the ears of one Stephen Patrick Morrissey, who for several years used them as his go-to American touring opener. It’s no mystery why their music resonated with pop aesthete Morrissey: Smoking Popes deal in concise, melancholic, serrated pop(ish) punk with a knack for memorable choruses full of dramatic longing. In 2018, the original lineup has reunited for the first time in two decades and recorded new album Into the Agony, as well as authorizing some crucial reissues. A night made for sing-alongs.

with the Pink Spiders, Amuse | 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9 | Soundbar, 37 W. Pine St. | | $15-$18

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