Smart Bar was once a reggae club called Cool Runnings
Metro’s downstairs club Smart Bar, now known as one of the preeminent dance clubs in the nation, once elicited a very different vibe. "It was called Cool Runnings," explains Shanahan, who adds that it only became Smart Bar after the owners of Cool Runnings left to open up former Clark St reggae club Wild Hare down the street. "It was great, because we'd have these punk kids and punk shows at Metro, and then this pretty great reggae club beneath the Metro." Also, at that time, Metro wasn't Metro, it was called Stages Music Hall. "The original Smart Bar was on the fourth floor of this building," Shanahan adds. "It's where our current offices are."
The crowd once ripped apart Dave Grohl's drum set
And, according to Shanahan, the act was entirely premeditated. "[Dave Grohl] needed a new drum kit, and he basically set it up when Nirvana played here on the week that Nevermind was released. He played on this rickety old drum kit and he needed a new one." Apparently Grohl had been talking to his manager and was unable to procure one.
"That was the night he kind of pushed the drum kit into the audience and they began to take it apart. He had to get a new one after that because it was gone. Whatever else came back on stage, they could barely finish the set. Kurt was trashing [the stage]… shit was just being destroyed on stage, and Grohl in his right mind was thinking, 'I need a new drum kit, I'm gonna push this off stage.'"