“Chicago's independent music venue since '82”
Owner Joe Shanahan left his hometown of Chicago for New York City in the late 1970s, intending to explore by immersion the developing art, music and dance culture taking over the city at the time. At the conclusion of one year, he returned to Chicago and realized that there wasn't a club that brought together the visual, performing, experimental and fringe arts communities. Seeking to fill that void, Shanahan drew upon his friends and travel experiences, and began to host parties for the arts and performing community in his loft. Exploiting the camaraderie in the local art community, Shanahan began to combine these DJ-driven parties with local gallery openings and live music venues. Attendance ballooned, and the parties quickly outgrew his loft space. Metro began making its mark on Chicago by booking new local bands like Naked Raygun and Big Black. Drawing on the strength of the local music community, Metro provided a space for bands to hone and develop their craft. Local bands supported the venue as well, using it as a jumping off point for their careers. It was at this time that nights such as "Rock Against Depression", featuring three bands for $5, became popular weekly events at Metro. As audiences responded to the new emerging music from Chicago bands, Metro began to look to other cities for music from their scenes. From New York, Metro booked Sonic Youth and the Ramones. Athens brought R.E.M. and Pylon. Minneapolis sent the Replacements, Husker Du and Soul Asylum. X and the Bangles came from California. Soon, bands from all over the world graced the Metro stage -- in just the first year of the club's existence, Metro hosted future music heavyweights New Order, Depeche Mode, Killing Joke, Billy Idol and O.M.D. During this time, Metro began a long-standing relationship with Chicago's own Jam Productions. This symbiotic relationship with one of the country's last independent concert promoters has helped Metro remain true to it's own independent entrepreneurial roots. It allows Metro to take it's promotional sensibility outside it's four walls to continue working with artists as they move to larger venues.
One of the best music venues i've ever been to! Get there early and snag a spot on the railing upstairs for the best view.
One of the most renowned venues in Chicago, the Metro is famous for hosting acts like the Smashing Pumpkins when they were emerging into national prominence. I dig the Metro because if its unique layout--the stage is really wide, and fans stretch out along the stage rather than getting stuck in the way back. Be sure and stop by the Gingerman next door either before or after the show and order a round of malort shots and Old Style.
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- Sun - Sat: 7:00 pm - 2:00 am
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