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We've Never Seen The Bathrooms Cleaner

By Lizz Kannenberg in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 24, 2007 5:44PM

This past Sunday marked the 25th birthday of Chicago’s most beloved (and sometimes bemoaned) rock club, the Cabaret Metro. Known to most simply as “The Metro,” the joint kicked off its venerable life with a performance by a then-little-known rock combo from Athens, GA called R.E.M.

2007_07_metro.jpgA quarter-century later, Metro is one of the last remaining major independent clubs in the country, with a rich history of offering many of rock’s most hallowed names their first really visible appearance on the Chicago scene. This storied past was celebrated in its full, weird splendor on Saturday night as owner Joe Shanahan opened the venue’s doors to an eclectic crowd of Metro employee alumni, music writers, artists, radio personnel, staff from other clubs in the city, band managers and agents, and old friends. As if the open bar wasn’t enough by way of entertainment, the Metro staff put together a clever video spoof on the club’s past called “Historical Moments in History,” featuring the behind-the-scenes crew as various rockers who have played the club. A separate, brief video history of the venue was an eye-opener, featuring classic old handbills and footage from such iconic performances as the White Stripes, the Beastie Boys, and Nirvana. DJ sets by the Life During Wartime collective, Brad Owen, and Peter Hook of Joy Division and WXRT’s ever-gracious Marty Lennartz as host rounded out the evening’s agenda. It was just the right mix of scene-to-be-seen and good ol’ times, befitting of a piece of this city’s music history.

What’s the best/wildest/most unbelievable show you’ve ever caught at Metro?