I was bumming around on my computer yesterday before work and for whatever reason I was possessed to go to the Smoking Popes website just to check in and see what they were up to. Not only was it instantly apparent that their site had been updated, but low and behold under Tour it said October 15 | Cambridge, MA | TT The Bear’s Place! I clicked Details and it said that the show was starting at 8:30!
This video is not from the show last night, nor is it from the first time I saw the Popes at TTs (May 2, 2011), however, it is from the second time I saw them, while on vaca in LA, and it is my video. They opened for Alkaline Trio (who I didn’t stay for) at the Troubadour on Santa Monica Blvd.
This wouldn’t have been a problem except for the fact that I had picked up a shift that day which went from 4:30-8:30. I was wicked bummed because the Popes never come around here and I did not want to miss an opportunity to see them. I went to work and the whole day I was trying to figure out a way that this scheme would be possible. I decided that the best way to get there fast would be to drive directly there from work.
I had briefed myself with a quick glance at google maps* before leaving for work and figured how hard could it be?
Cut to 8:25 and I’m leaving work. I drove as much of the route I could before ringing my mum and asking her to open my craptop and read me the directions that were luckily still open in Safari. With her help I got the rest of the way there and eventually found parking. When I arrived it was maybe 5 or 10 after 9:00pm. The Popes hadn’t started yet and it was an opening band. I had made it in time.
I bought myself a congratulatory beer and waited for the opening band to finish. After they were done, I made my way to the front of the crowd so I could be right at the stage for the Popes. However, upon scanning the crowd I saw my friend DJ and his friend (whom I’d met B4 but whose name is escaping me). We chilled for a bit by the merch booth and soon another opening band came on.
I had been feeling sketchy about where I parked and wasn’t sure if I had locked the door. Plus, I had left my cell phone in the car. During this (possibly the third) opening band I walked back to the car -which I had remembered to lock- and moved it to a lot across the street from the venue. I got my phone and headed back to TTs where a short while later, I was front row center for the Popes.
It was a sweet show, after which I grabbed the set list off their amp and talked to the lead singer about how I left work early to see them and how I had seen them at TTs the last time. He said that he (supposedly) remembered me. Regardless it was a fun night and the spontaneity of it made it all the more great.
*though I’ve lived in the Boston area my whole life, I never drive into the city and mainly only know my way via the train.