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Old September 2nd, 2009, 12:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
Harvester
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The Pearl Room: Gone...

There was a running thread over at the Powerfest forum, but Lotesto confirmed things officially:





Yes, it's finally official, the pearl room is indeed finished....so sad to see
another cool metal venue bite the dust....thanks to frank, rj, mike, tony,
arthur, joe and the whole staff down there for everything over our last
three years there!

Chris, Rob & John
CRJ Productions

Here is the official "goodbye" and list of show moves:

The Pearl Room - Chicagoland's Premier Concert Venue sadly comes to end

The Pearl Room would like to thank everyone that supported our venue over
the last 6 years. We had a great time producing some of the best concerts in
Chicagoland and giving you all the best possible concert experience we
could. We made a lot of good friends over the years and we will miss each
and every one of you.

Thank you to all the great bands that played our stage and gave us the
opportunity to work with you, we had a blast and will surely miss your
company AND music. Thank you to all the agents and managers that believed
in us and helped make The Pearl Room a reality as a Southside venue, your
trust and commitment will never be forgotten.

Thank you to allour music sponsors and to all those that helped spread the
word of our venue. Special thanks to Scott Davidson at Rebel Radio, Rodney
and the CMF, Jessi Virtusio at the SouthTownStar, our friend FREAK and WRXQ,
John Vernon and Tammy at the IE. Thanx to Dan Locke, Gene Ambo, Stephen
Jensen and Michelle Overson for all the awesome photos you took over the years,
you guys are great.

Thanks to Chris Payne, Brandon Kane and everyone at Q101, many thanks to all of
you for the events we've done. Thanks to Amie and Mike at Ticketmaster and for
all the last minute rush jobs we threw at you, it was much appreciated.

Thanx to Tim with Pitch Black and all The Girls of Metal for spreading the word and
supporting the venue. Thanks to Chris , Rob and John from CRJ Productions and
all they did with Powerfest over the years, it wont stop here.

A huge thanx to all our staff including Tony, Art and the entire Gerard Audio crew
for making the Pearl Room the best sounding venue anywhere. period. Thank you Joe
for lighting the stage and wearing 27 other hats to make this place run, there arent
enough thank yous... Our stage crew, Mike, Adam and Scott for getting us praises
by each and every band that ever came to our venue and for having the best crew
anywhere in the states and beyond, a BIG thank you for all your work. And to our
entire staff of bartenders, servers, barbacks, security and managers for making every
show happen, we are much appreciative to all and we will miss you.

So as we turn the lights off one last time, we have one last thank you to each and
every one of you. Continue to support LIVE music wherever you are and all those
that make it happen, for music is the life blood that unites people across boundaries
like no other. Dont let that light ever go out, thank you all.

Sincerely,

Frank, Jeanne, Mark, RJ, Danielle and Katie

Sep 12 2009 8:00P
Doro / moved to Nite Cap in Chicago / 21+

Sep 13 2009 6:00P
Edguy / moved to Logan Square Auditorium in Chicago

Sep 23 2009 6:00P
Obituary / moved to Logan Square Auditorium in Chicago

Sep 25 2009 7:00P
Stratovarius / moved to Pyramid Club in Addison

Sep 26 2009 9:00P
DOWN / moved to Austins in Libertyville

Oct 9 2009 6:00P
Gojira / moved to Logan Square Auditorium in Chicago

Oct 19 2009 8:00P
Satyricon / moved to Double Door in Chicago / 21+

Oct 23 2009 6:00P
Moonspell / moved to Pyramid Club in Addison

Oct 27 2009 6:00P
Insane Clown Posse / moved to Congress Theater

Oct 29 2009 8:00P
Powerman 5000 / moved to Penny Road Pub

Nov 13 2009 7:00P
Vader / moved to Pyramid Club in Addison
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 12:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Holy shit! This is a surprise to me; I thought they were doing well. That place was awesome, perfect for Chicago Powerfest, and it was easy for us out-of-towners to get to without having to deal with the city traffic. RIP Pearl Room.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 12:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I went to a lot of good shows there ... it will be missed.


Britt
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 12:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sad indeed. From my perspective as a crew member - that was one of the best venues on the circuit. From the club layout, to amenities (showers, dressing rooms, laundry facility, green room with full stocked bar, lounge area and billiard table), lights, sounds system, in-house crew, down to the load-in ramp...
Wow....
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 01:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Holy shit! This is a surprise to me; I thought they were doing well. That place was awesome, perfect for Chicago Powerfest, and it was easy for us out-of-towners to get to without having to deal with the city traffic. RIP Pearl Room.
For this reason alone I will miss it.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 01:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Bummer...
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 01:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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For this reason alone I will miss it.
Ditto. Any shows that are in Chicago proper I probably won't be going to see, because I absolutely do not wish to deal with the traffic in the city.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 01:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Pearl Room grew on me over time.
My main beef though was the endless sound issues experienced at MANY shows there, primarily the vocals going out on Iced Earth's set at Powerfest. This happened at Candlemass as well.

Looking forward to checking out Stratovarius at the Pyramid Club in Addison.

Sorry, but booking EDGUY at Logan Square Auditorium (Which is not exactly the best area), is a HUGE mistake. I have a feeling that will be one empty show.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 02:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Pearl Room grew on me over time.
My main beef though was the endless sound issues experienced at MANY shows there, primarily the vocals going out on Iced Earth's set at Powerfest. This happened at Candlemass as well.
I definitely haven't seen as many Chicago-area shows as you, but I've seen problems like this happen at virtually every venue I've been to there. Particularly notorious for equipment failure were J.J. Kelley's, Nite Cap's, and the Rock House in Aurora (plus I was down front when I saw November's Doom there, and the stage was so rickety that I thought the vocalist was going to fall on me ). I haven't noticed the Pearl Room being any better, or worse, than any other place about these issues.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 02:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I think I am in the minority on this......I am glad it is gone. So many of the shows would have been better attended if they were closer to the city. I know lots of people who dont have cars and could never get out there and missed lots of good shows. Now in the past few weeks many great metal shows have poped up all over the city. Sure it isnt a good thing when a place that housed most metal shows is gone....but now we see more happening all over the place.

Dont forget that the Pearl Room had that huge battle / fight and cancelled the Macabre show over water being spilled, the whole Helloween debacle, the terrible security guards, adding more and more opening bands to each bill, and the sound issues. Sure they had lots of shows and free easy parking, but there were more cons to that place to pro's in my book.

I am so glad to see more shows moving into the city now. Even the northwestern burbs is getting shows now. Which will do really well since most of the people who seem to go to the shows are from that area so it will be easier for them. I think that with shows closer it will let people who are on the fence with going to shows want to go then since it will be closer.

again....this is just me.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 02:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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WOW...this is huge news. The Pearl Room had become the venue of choice for the majority of concert tours passing through. Somebody better STEP UP in Chicago or we may get left out in the future. I know nothing about this Pyramid Club in Addison...and I used to live in the western suburbs...I now live in the city and walk to shows at the House of Blues...hopefully they will be the ones that start booking the shows.

I'm with you Diabolik...100%!!!
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 02:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Ha! Well, of course the folks who live in the city will say, "Bring em to the city"! I think it depends on the type of band. Candlemass for example, barely drew 150 at the Pearl Room. This obviously would have done better in the city. There is the whole doom / hipster subculture in the Wicker Park area. Tons of folks who would NEVER drive out of the city to see a show.

I mentioned the Edguy show. That show is 100% suburban. I don't mean that city metalheads wouldn't like Edguy, but a younger power metal band has a lot of younger suburban fans that most likely don't go to shows in the city.

In the same year, I saw Trouble play in front of literally 50 people (and I am not even REMOTELY joking) in the suburbs, and then a few months later play to about a 75% filled House of Blues in the city.

booB - Sure, of course there can be sound issues at ANY venue. It just seemed to happen to me at three shows in a row last year at Pearl Room. Shows that were more high profile than a show at JJ Kelleys or Rileys.

As far as the city goes, Reggies might pick up some of the overflow. They already booked the upcoming Marduk / Nachtmystium show, and are doing shows for Agalloch, Novembers Doom, Macabre (I think......)

For us older guys, its nothing new. Clubs come and go all the time.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 03:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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NOOOOOOO!!! I loved that venue!!!!! Why do all the good venues have to close down in Chicago!!!!! Damn the lack of Metal Heads in this area!!!!
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 06:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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NOOOOoooooooo!

Say it isn't so!

The Pearl Room was our favorite out-of-state venue! It was easier to get to than any venue in Chicago (in fact, driving to Mokena was a breeze) and it featured some of the best bands in the world.

This is terrible news. Really terrible.

Damn.

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Old September 2nd, 2009, 09:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Obviously venue location is going to be a factor in going to a show, but I'm surprised to hear it's apparently such a large factor for so many people in the Chicago area. When I lived in central New Jersey, it was very common to head to New York or Philadelphia for a show, and I rarely heard complaints from people about having to go all the way to the city. Conversely, there were a number of shows in suburban NJ, and there were always plenty of New York or Philadelphia residents there.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 09:48 PM   #16 (permalink)
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That really blows. Granted, I'm in the city, so it's somewhat easier for me to get to venues that are el-accessible, but the Pearl Room was not difficult to get to at all if you take the train. The parking lot for the closest metra stop actually bordered the parking lot for the strip mall the Pearl Room was in, which I don't think a lot of people realized.
I will miss that place... the majority of the shows I've seen since I moved to Chicago have been there.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 10:51 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Totally sucks, I'm an out-of-towner and the Pearl Room was a breeze to get to...I'll drive into to Chi-town for shows, but the Pearl Room cut 45 minutes to an hour off the drive time easily, and they booked tons of class acts...very sad.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 11:50 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Obviously venue location is going to be a factor in going to a show, but I'm surprised to hear it's apparently such a large factor for so many people in the Chicago area. When I lived in central New Jersey, it was very common to head to New York or Philadelphia for a show, and I rarely heard complaints from people about having to go all the way to the city. Conversely, there were a number of shows in suburban NJ, and there were always plenty of New York or Philadelphia residents there.
Same here...I don't really mind going to any venues in the various counties surrounding my home..
But some other South Floridians hate shows in Miami... We get more shows in Ft. Lauderdale and people are used to that.. I always hear people bitch about Miami shows, so I guess it compares to Chicago... .
I'd hate to lose our local metal/rock venue, the Culture Room.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 12:15 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I second a couple of you out there that are glad the place is gone. Being from Illinois myself, I did enjoy numerous concerts there and even ended up going in the backstage from time to time.

HOWEVER, there were many problems. Among them were, inconsistent sound (which over the last 1 1/2 years seemed to happen at least once per show), bad security, overpriced everything but tickets, the fact that there were not a lot of good places to view the stage unless you were very close or on the balcony (which they closed a lot) and more than anything else, my biggest gripe were the sheer amount of shitty local bands they would put on. These bands dragged and dragged each show I went to and outside of one, they all blew!

So to be honest, I am glad this place is gone. Personally, I prefer taking the train in and walking or cabbing it to another venue. While I'm not impressed with the places they moved the shows to, I am hoping that a lot of future metal shows go to the House of Blues, which in my opinion is the best venue in Chicago. In fact, I think it will boost ticket sales, because a lot of people in Chicago itself did not want to take the hike to Mokena to be perfectly honest. I mean seriously, this place NEVER sold out unless it was Powerfest, which outside of the 2008 fest, really isn't that impressive.

Yes, I understand those out of town who don't want to but to be honest, I would suggest getting a relatively cheap hotel in the burbs or something and taking the train if you're that worried about driving in the city.

Anyways, that's my opinion on the whole thing.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 03:13 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Traveling isnt an issue if the place I am driving far to is worth the trip.

people tend to forget......

- Many opening acts added on last minute or bands who really shouldnt be playing on a serious national show. (Acts of Destruction - a terrible local thrash band who are just a bunch of high school kids with zero talent) Bands like this is cool at local shows but to put bands like this on national tour packages is insulting. Sure it is cool for that band...but for all of us who have to suffer. please. How many shows can Something Beautiful play there???? They dont even have a drummer...just a drum machine and they are not really even a metal band. It seemed that there was never any planning on the shows....it was almost as if the booker just drew names out of a hat to book locals. Nothing is worse than having bands added to a 4 or 5 band tour already.

- Capones! Nuff said. Nothing worse than thinking you are going to see a show at a nice size venue and then find out that the show got moved next door to the restraunt / bar to save money. Bad part is that there isnt a real stage so bands played a less than a foot higher than the main floor so if you were not upfront or at least 3 or 4 deep to the front...you could not see the band. Plus if you didnt stand directly in front of the stage...the sound was completly lousy. I did have fun at the TYR show there...it reminded me of the old punk days of being right up there with the band and feeling that energy but I dont want to do this as a regualr occurance. A bunch of shows seemed to have gotten moved there in the past year. If you have a feeling the show isnt going to be well attended.....let another club have that show...maybe they will make it work.

- terrible security.....These guys were total tools. That one guy single- handedly stop the Macabre show dead in its tracks and got it shut down all over a water spill near the stage. I have read many different versions of the whole story...it seems security was at fault...resulting in a security guy getting fired and the Pearl Room having to do a free show for Macabre....kind of shows you who was at fault. There was that issue at the Exodus show. Then various other little things that I observed from going there.

- Mokena isnt a place that is a big draw. I know many people who didnt even know it was there and thought it was even farther. Most people who live in the burbs dont realize that most city folk dont own cars. While lots of the under attended shows would have had a much larger draw in the city or northern burbs (the 2 biggest drawing area's in Chicago). There was lots of shows that interested me but was turned off by having to go all the way out there and deal with parking back late at night in my area. And realizing that the show may not even be good due to poor sound, too many opening acts and what not. Even if the sound didnt drop out like at Powerfest 2008. There were times where the mix was just plain terrible. On that same note...I have seen some great shows there with good sound ( aka Therion ).
For people who want to complain about driving to the city because of traffic...isnt this the same as us city people saying it is a far drive to Mokena?


- terrible promotion for shows. Just hanging flyers at the club isnt going to get new people to the venue. There was zero advertising for the Pearl Room outside of Illionios Entertainer or thier Myspace. Pearl Room was getting super lazy with this. basically a we booked it...you better come attitude.


Some good things that will come out of this.

- More variety of clubs doing metal shows....we are already seeing this. Much more shows in the city. Reggies which I have heard nothing but great things about is doing a bunch of metal shows now. I am sure most of the larger tours will return to the House of Blues which is great for me. I have only seen one bad show there. Plus with new clubs doing metal shows...promoters will have to work to get people there and hopefully get creative with line ups and stuff.

- bands thinking that Mokena was in the city will be actually able to come to the city. There isnt much to do in Mokena other than sit in a hotel room and go to White Castle or Wendys.

- for shows in the city....hopefully people who dont get down here much can stop by Metal Haven and support an incredible metal store before going to the show and support it. When I used to live in the burbs I would make a day of going to a show. I would record shop, get lunch / dinner, and hit others places while being in the city. it made for a fun day.

- local acts now will have access to a whole new crowd who were not able to go to the Pearl Room. Plus it maybe now have to have some of the crappy ones tighten up and have to work to get that show.

I am sure I am missing something but it is late and enough of my rambling. While is sucks that a club closes that supports metal, I am sure this isnt going to cripple the metal scene in Chicago. We are a pretty big city with lots and lots of clubs.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 10:26 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I really liked the Pearl Room when it first opened but after time, it became a place that I really didn't care for.

Crappy, overpriced beer selection, rude security and sound issue after sound issue.

Security at te Pearl Room was getting more like the HoB (which I hate), where if you look at them wrong, they will kick you out. I understand that it is their job to maintain order, but seriously, all they did was push their weight around because they could get away with it...at least up until the Macabre show. But even after that, I still felt like I was in a prison yard.

The hour drive didn't really bother me because it was a straight shot on the highway and virtually no traffic. For those in the city, the Metra stop was right across the street, so it was easily accessible from the city for the most part.

It was nice having a hotel within stumbling distance for Festivals such as Powerfest. Ha! Good times....

Although it sucked to have to pay $5 for a re-enrty wristband to go outside and smoke, it was better than the HoB and a few others, where there is no re-entry. Get 1,000 Metalheads together who can't smoke and things start to get hostile.

It was brought up that they booked way to many opening bands and I couldn't agree more. The last time I saw WASP, there were FIVE opening bands! All went over their time limit, leaving WASP's set short. So basically, I paid $30 to sit through four hours of crappy opening bands, only to see 45 minutes of WASP. It was crap.

What I'm wondering is if the businesses around the Pearl Room will suffer due to it's closing. For example, Denny's and White Castle. How many times had we gone over there for some munchies after a show? And every year for Powerfest, the Super 8 was booked solid.

I have no idea where the new "Chicago stop" will be for touring bands, but I hope to Gawd, it's not the House of Blues. I have heard good things about Reggies, which I have not been to yet.

As far as the Stratovarius show being held at the Pyramid Club in Addison, that will be interesting and I hope that was just a last minute frantic decision for someone and this doesn't become a regular venue for Metal bands. The last time I was there was for a "Suburban Nitelife Awards Ceremony and was nothing more than a glorified sports bar for yuppies. I have never heard of any advertising for that place at all and the way it is set up, it is not suited for bands at all. Unless of course they changed it, but the layout is like an 'L' shape, most of which is filled with pool tables. From the looks of their website, it seems weekends are reserved for a Top 40 DJ. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm just not looking forward to that show at all.

So anyway....RIP Pearl Room!
Make way for the new neighborhood Walgreens!
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 10:28 AM   #22 (permalink)
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All good points made by everyone here.

As I said, clubs come and go.
We can seriously find something wrong with almost ANY venue.
(IE - Too big, too small, location, bar prices, etc)

I think what people tend to forget is the business side of things.
There are now more metal tours than EVER these days.
Having a touring metal band come to town isn't a rare thing.
Kudos to festivals like Prog Power for that!

Diabolik pointed something out very important.
Pearl Room would book an amazing touring band, and add 3 or 4 completely unknown local bands to the bill. This IS a deterent to going to shows, esp in the day where people HAVE more of a choice in going to shows.

It's no longer the days of "Book em and they will come"

The Candlemass show which drew POORLY is an example.
JAXX club added TWISTED TOWER DIRE to this show. A perfect fit, as you will draw in the traditional metal fans who might be on the fence about checking out Candlemass. The Pearl Room added on 2 or 3 unknown local (Well, one semi known local band in URN) bands to the bill. Nothing to draw in people on the fence. Therefore, if there were 2 or 3 other shows coming up which you wanted to see, then this might look low on your priority list.

I don't know for a fact, but I think a lot of those regularly appearing local bands might be managed by FM Entertainment, which promoted the shows at Pearl Room.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 10:35 AM   #23 (permalink)
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One funny Pearl Room moment which came to my mind....

The Helloween / Gamma Ray show last fall.

Kai Hansen said something like, "We'll be back soon!"

Diabolik replied with , "Hopefully at a REAL club!"

This one security guard, heavier set with ponytail, who I think was part of the MACABRE fiasco, shot us the DIRTIEST look I ever saw!

I do want to say something about security.
I am not trying to sound cooler than the room, but I have been going to club shows in Chicago since the late 80's.
I have gotten my ass KICKED literally in the pit at places like the METRO and MEDUSA'S, which really just employed someone to take tickets at the door and that's it. Sure, this changed over time, which is good. Security IS important, regardless of how much of a pain they seem. The issue with the Pearl Room security was that they employed local tough guys who were on a power trip.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 11:20 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Only downfall of Metra and taking it too the Pearl Room is that if there is no late night train....you are screwed. Plus if the show runs long..you have to leave and miss what you came for.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 02:47 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Has anyone been to the Logan Square Auditorium? This place doesn't really look that great based on looking at their website. What is this, a wedding reception hall?

This is really going to suck having to see Edguy there.
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