I was a teenager in Minnesota when I first heard of Cabaret Metro; it was the venue credited for the live recordings on Sugar’s “A Good Idea” single. The first time I set foot in the venue itself wasn’t until 1999, when some college friends and I drove down from Madison to see the Fantômas show. From my spot in the balcony, Dave Lombardo’s drums looked like they took up almost a third of the stage. Metro became a popular destination for road-trip shows until I moved to Chicago after college. In 2004 my friends in the band New Black were opening up for Secret Machines, and I had just learned to screenprint posters with Steve Walters at Screwball Press. I designed and printed a poster for that show, and Joe Shanahan really liked it (reportedly because it “included the year” in the text). That and a couple other posters (The Faint, Jimmy Eat World) preceded my application for the position of graphic designer — the first job interview I decided not to wear a suit to. Shanahan showed up at the front doors of Metro (smoking a cigar) and we talked about art, design, and music. For the five years following that interview, I had the best job a graphic designer who likes music could ask for, and got to meet and work alongside some of the greatest people ever, including Stacey, who is now my fiancé! Metro and Smart Bar were the centrifuge of my late 20s, and the number of great memories made there approach infinity.