Metro is pleased to offer coat and bag check to our customers for every show throughout the year. Coat check is located to your right as you enter the building. The cost is $2 per coat and $3 per bag. Please note that you may be required to check backpacks and other large bags at the discretion of our security staff.
Generally speaking, early Metro shows (Doors at 6:00pm, show at 6:30 or 7:00), are all ages and end at 10pm. Late Metro shows (beginning at 9pm or later) are 18 & over. There may be exceptions to these guidelines, please check the individual show listing to verify. All events in Smart Bar, without exception, are 21 & over.
To enter Metro/Smart Bar, you must show one valid form of federal or state ID (drivers license, state ID, passport, etc.) as proof of age. Our policy is to request ID from any customer who appears to be under the legal age. We have the right to, and will, refuse entry to any customer who cannot produce a valid, adequate ID. We also reserve the right to ask for a second form of ID if the first form is unacceptable or unclear.
•A valid, current drivers license issued by the Illinois Secretary of State Office or any other state.
•A valid photo identification card issued by the Illinois Secretary of State Office or any other state.
•Armed Forces Identification
•A valid U.S. Passport or travel visa/passport issued by a foreign country containing the holders photograph.
WARNING! Metro will confiscate fake or misrepresented Identification and turn them in to the State Police. There are severe penalties for using fake ID's or for possessing another person's ID's. It's a Class A misdemeanor to display another person's card as one's own, or to lend a card to someone, and it's a Class 4 Felony to possess a fraudulent DL or ID. Offenders face fines, community service, and even jail time. In addition, violators face a minimum license suspension of one year. These suspensions are on the public motors vehicle record and remain there for seven years. Insurance companies typically double the rates they charge drivers who have a one-year suspension on their records.
GUIDELINES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN:
All ages shows are open to people of all ages so there is no minimum age requirement for those shows. If you are a parent considering bringing your young child with you to a show at Metro, we urge you to consider your individual child's personality, tolerance for crowds, attention span, and ability to handle loud environments. We strongly encourage proper ear plugs / protection for all patrons, but especially young children.
Capacity is 1150, divided between the main floor and the balcony. Metro is standing room only for all events, unless otherwise noted.
Metro is happy to accommodate patrons with handicaps or other special needs. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, nature of your special need, and date of the show you have purchased tickets to. Prior notice is preferable for your convenience and to ensure we have reserved a space for you in our handicapped area, however last minute requests will be accommodated by the manager on duty that evening as space permits.
A new Chicago Clean Indoor Air Ordinance was passed by the Chicago City Council in December 2005. The ordinance, Municipal Code 7-32, the Chicago Clean Indoor Air Ordinance, prohibits smoking in public facilities. Due to the ordinance, smoking is prohibited in Metro. The Metro does not allow re-entry.
Alcohol is available for anyone 21 & over. In order to drink alcohol at Metro you must show a current valid federal/state ID (driver's license, state ID, passport, etc.) as proof of age, and be wearing a wristband provided by Metro. Patrons drinking without wristbands will be asked to leave. There are a variety of non-alcoholic beverages available as well.
If you would like to contact a staff member,
click on a name to send that person an email.
Metro's box office is located inside the Metro Store on the first floor of 3730 North Clark Street. Tickets for all Metro shows are available for purchase with cash or credit card (Metro Store accepts Visa, Mastercard, and American Express). Note: ticket purchases for a show day of must be cash after doors have opened.
Store hours: Located below Metro at 3728 N. Clark St, Metro Store is open Monday 12-6pm, Tuesday through Saturday 12-8pm, and closed Sundays unless there is a show in Metro.
PLEASE NOTE: Effective immediately, Metro and Smart Bar shows are only available through the Metro and Smart Bar websites, ETIX.COM, and the Metro Box Office. There is no service fee at the Metro Box Office!
Metro/Smart Bar is committed to the safety and security of our patrons,
performers and staff. For 20 years we have worked to ensure not only
that everyone has a great time, but that everyone is safe and secure.
Metro/Smart Bar would like to let you know about the safety measures
we have in place here at Metro.
Metros main floor has 4 emergency exits to an exterior fire
escape as well as 3 main floor exits.
Metros balcony has 2 emergency exits to an exterior fire escape,
2 main floor exits, and 2 back stairway exits.
Smart Bar has 1 main exits leading to Clark Street, 1 emergency exit
to the main lobby, and 1 emergency exit to the Racine fire exit.
Before each show, there is an announcement directing patrons to
take note of the location of emergency exits
All our emergency exits and emergency exit signs are checked every
day by our security staff.
In the Metro/Smart Bar building, there are 24 fire extinguishers
located throughout the building, as well as 4 backup fire extinguishers.
All fire extinguishers are regularly inspected.
In the Metro/Smart Bar building, there are 63 illuminated lights,
including exit signs, stairs signs, and fire escape signs.
Metro/Smart Bar has 23 emergency battery back up lights.
Metro/Smart Bar security staff is well trained, and some are licensed
security officers with the State of Illinois, possessing professional
employee regulation cards and having undergone a special 20 hour training
Metro/Smart Bar security staff have received numerous awards from
the state of Illinois for excellence, including numerous commendations
from the Secretary of State for our cooperation in deterring underage
Metro/Smart Bar security staff does not use any weapons of any kind,
including mace, pepper spray or any other toxic air-released compound.
Metro/Smart Bar does not use, or allow any performer to use, any
pyrotechnics of any kind.
Signs are posted instructing performers of our policy, and the intent
to prosecute any violators.
Metro has signed on to the Illinois Licensed Beverage Associations
recommendations of legislative proposals to continue to make sure
that our industry remains safe for everyone.
GET RECORDED AT METRO!
The Metro is an ideal place to record and archive your performance! Have your show professionally recorded by the legendary Chicago Recording Company and American Mobile. They are experts at capturing the excitement of the crowd and your band's true sound at a great rock club. Please contact Chris Shepard at CRC for more information or visit their mobile recording website at www.americanmobilestudio.com.
Metro's mission is to bring a cross-platform of the best local, regional and national emerging artists to Chicago. Since, 1982, Metro has accomplished this goal repeatedly and established itself as one of the country's premier, cutting edge new music venues. At the cusp of a quarter century of bringing new music to Chicago, its time to take a look back at how we've come so far...
Throwing Parties for Friends: The Beginning of a Dream
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.
Finding A Home at 3730 North Clark
An infamous local promoter directed Shanahan to 3730 North Clark Street, the building that would become Metro and SmartBar. Originally built in 1927 as a Swedish Community Center, the building was a jazz/folk club called Stages when Shanahan came upon it. Shanahan was enamored with the space, and opened Metro in July of 1982 on the top floor of the building.
"The Big Room": Metro's Debut
In August of 1982, Shanahan had the opportunity to promote a show in "the big room" with a little known band he met in New York. Using the name of his production company, Latest Creations, he placed his first advertisement in the Chicago Reader, and drew posters and flyers. For five bucks a head, Chicago saw this show featuring a little-known band from Athens, Georgia - R.E.M.
The show was a success and Shanahan began booking and promoting the club's weekend slots. Shanahan and a small staff of like-minded music fans gradually took over the main floor of Stages, moving SmartBar from the fourth floor (which currently hosts the Metro offices) to the basement of the building. Metro was re-opened as a live music venue in its current space. It would, Shanahan vowed, be a place that focused on local and emerging talent from the region, nation, and ultimately the world.
The 1980s: Metro Makes Its Mark
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.
The 1990's: Explosion of Alternative
The 1990s brought the rise of grunge and alternative music, and Metro was at the forefront of the movement. Chicagoans The Smashing Pumpkins, Urge Overkill, Local H, Liz Phair and Veruca Salt began their careers on the Metro stage. From Seattle, Nirvana, Soundgarden and Mudhoney came to play to Chicago audiences. Los Angeles brought Jane's Addiction and a relationship with Perry Farrell that continues to this today.
At this time, the spotlight was on Chicago because of the visable music scene here. With clubs like Metro and Lounge Ax hosting sold out shows with exciting new bands every week, the music industry discovered our city, and Chicago's commitment to independent music.
Recognizing Our Heritage, Celebrating Our Roots
While Metro and SmartBar seek to expose new artists, the clubs also seek to recognize and celebrate the American and British roots of rock and roll. Legendary artists including James Brown, Iggy Pop, George Clinton, Joe Strummer, Bob Dylan, New Order, The Ramones, Depeche Mode, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Metallica and Prince have all performed for the Metro crowd.
The New Millenium: Continuing the Tradition
One of Metro's strengths has been its ability to evolve with music and art over time, constantly seeking out the best new and emerging artists. As a result, today's music history makers have also cut their teeth at Metro. Fall Out Boy, Plain White Ts, Alkaline Trio, Fitz & The Tantrums, Justin Townes Earle, Kings of Leon, Them Crooked Vultures, TV On The Radio, Rusko, Diplo, Yeasayer, Sleigh Bells, The Faint -- just a short list of notable contemporary artists who have graced the Metro stage.
The Metro 20th anniversary celebration in 2002 provided the club with the opportunity to celebrate with twenty special shows over the course of the year, including Stephen Malkmus, The Faint, Bright Eyes, Indigo Girls, Sea & Cake, Sonic Youth, Zwan, Tortoise, The Flaming Lips, Thrill Kill Kult, Alkaline Trio, Bob Mould, the Foo Fighters and Wire.
From July 2007 through July 2008, Metro and SmartBar celebrated 25 years of showcasing new and developing local artists, cutting edge DJ's and new genres of music. The 25th anniversary year kicked off with a free public concert in Millennium Park's Pritzker Pavilion with The Decemberists backed by the Grant Park Orchestra. The club also hosted an employee reunion and public party to count down the hours to the official anniversary celebration at midnight on July 22, 2007. Owner Joe Shanahan was awarded a Recording Academy Honors award from the Chicago Chapter of The Recording Academy in recognition of Metro/Smart Bar's 25 years in the Chicago music community on October 11, 2007.
To Be Continued...
As Metro and Smart Bar approach their 30th anniversary, the clubs remain as vibrant and engaged as ever. Continuing to present cutting-edge bands and DJs remains the focus of day to day life, continuing to bring tens of thousands of music lovers through the doors of 3730 North Clark Street every year. In addition, the club's reach continues to expand through a variety of cultural partnerships and outside events with organizations including Redmoon Theatre, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago Architecture Foundation, and the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. The continued dedication of Metro and Smart Bar to Chicago's music fans and artists is sure to continue for many decades to come.
Click on a year to see what shows happened at Metro! And please let us know if you notice any omissions or errors (it's still under construction).