I remember a Thursday morning back in April 1998 when I walked into my office to find someone sitting with their feet up on my desk, face hidden behind a newspaper. For those who have never been part of managing a concert venue, it would be difficult for you to understand that your relationship with your office goes far past it being a place of “work.” I regularly walked in the door at 8 or 9AM and didn’t leave until the wee hours of the following morning.The Metro was my home, and my office was very much “my” room. I was taken aback with someone so comfortably perched at my desk.
I, politely as I could, bid whomever it was “Good morning!” Slowly the newspaper moved down until I could see a baseball cap, then a set of bemused be-speckled eyes, some well-groomed facial hair and a whimsical grin. Rick Nielsen, the famed guitar player for Cheap Trick, smiled at me and asked, “Is this your desk?” After a pause, I came to my senses and remembered this was the first of four days and nights we would be hosting Cheap Trick.
They were set to play four classic albums front-to-back supported by four great bands: Local H, Smashing Pumpkins, Smoking Popes and tripl3fastaction. It was just the start of what was sure to be a momentous weekend for the band and for Metro. I smiled in return and asked Rick if he would be willing to trade my desk for the black leather club chair which sat opposite. He replied, “Of course,” and spent the morning reading while I was busy designing a few flyers, confirming journalists’ attendance and readying the final guest lists.
I was never a huge Cheap Trick fan before that weekend, but they sure did rock. Few bands connect with their fans like the Trick and their live show is amazing. Between them, their four incredible opening acts and all the guest appearances as they ripped through four classic albums, the roof was just about blown off Metro.