27. Metro Chicago
Address: 3730 North Clark St.
Coolest Feature: Smart Bar, the basement dance club
Metro was born on the North Side of Chicago in 1982 after owner Joe Shanahan decided hold a show in the bigger room located in the old Northside Auditorium Building. The first performers at the $5 grand opening show were a then-unknown band from Georgia who went by the name of R.E.M. The success of this performance led to local bands flocking to the venue, and the club was soon booking talent from all over the country.
In terms of local acts, both the Smashing Pumpkins and Liz Phair have cut their teeth on the Metro stage. Smashing Pumpkins played their first and final shows here before getting back together (in some capacity) years later. Sadly, the Metro is where Jeff Buckley filmed his lone concert DVD before passing away in 1997 and was host to one of Shannon Hoon's last shows with Blind Melon in 1995, as the singer died of a cocaine overdose a month later. After helping to break new talent, Metro would grow to welcome prominent music figures such as Joe Strummer, Prince, Bob Dylan, Prince, and George Clinton.