- 1. Derrick Carter: Live at Smart Bar - QUEEN! Opening Night by Smart Bar Chicago 1.43.27 6238 plays
- 2. Dave Clarke: Live at Smart Bar - 11/19/11 by Smart Bar Chicago 2.39.21 1006 plays
- 3. Smart Mix 28: Eats Everything by Smart Bar Chicago 2.54.35 2229 plays
- Download track Go to track Justin Long at Hugo Ball February 20134. Justin Long at Hugo Ball February 2013 by Hugo Ball Chicago 56.13 1940 plays
- 5. Smart Mix 21: Abstract Science DJs Live at Smart Bar 12-07-12 by Smart Bar Chicago 1.39.23 817 plays
- 6. Smart Mix 18: Todd Edwards Live at Smart Bar by Smart Bar Chicago 2.19.22 2149 plays
- 7. Phillip Stone Live @ Hugo Ball 10.19.2013 by Smart Bar Chicago 1.33.52 403 plays
- 1. Smart Mix 02: Samone Roberts by Smart Bar Chicago 1.13.00 7559 plays
- 2. Smart Mix 03: Future Kill by Smart Bar Chicago 1.00.34 3578 plays
- 3. Smart Mix 04: Nate Manic by Smart Bar Chicago 1.09.18 2577 plays
- 4. Smart Mix 05: Sassmouth by Smart Bar Chicago 1.15.55 1910 plays
- 5. Smart Mix 06: Tim Zawada by Smart Bar Chicago 1.09.40 2261 plays
- 6. Smart Mix 07: Scotty Brandon by Smart Bar Chicago 1.25.45 1252 plays
- 7. Smart Mix 08: Jake Guidry by Smart Bar Chicago 55.54 941 plays
- 8. Smart Mix 09: Olin by Smart Bar Chicago 1.01.08 874 plays
- 9. Smart Mix 10: DJ Gant-Man by Smart Bar Chicago 50.51 2337 plays
- 10. Smart Mix 11: DJ The Tornado by Smart Bar Chicago 1.06.57 838 plays
- 11. Smart Mix 12: DJ Intel by Smart Bar Chicago 55.33 882 plays
- 12. Smart Mix 13: Jeff Derringer by Smart Bar Chicago 57.32 734 plays
- 13. Smart Mix 14: Duke Shin by Smart Bar Chicago 1.11.25 857 plays
- 14. Smart Mix 15: Justin Long by Smart Bar Chicago 54.22 2726 plays
- 15. Smart Mix 16: Frankie Vega by Smart Bar Chicago 1.03.20 1065 plays
- 16. Smart Mix 17: Move D by Smart Bar Chicago 2.40.53 3008 plays
- 17. Smart Mix 18: Todd Edwards Live at Smart Bar by Smart Bar Chicago 2.19.22 2149 plays
- 18. Smart Mix 20: DJ Shiva by Smart Bar Chicago 1.01.02 1426 plays
- 19. Smart Mix 21: Abstract Science DJs Live at Smart Bar 12-07-12 by Smart Bar Chicago 1.39.23 817 plays
- 20. Smart Mix 23: Nathan Drew Larsen by Smart Bar Chicago 1.40.08 2159 plays
- 21. Smart Mix 24: Nail by Smart Bar Chicago 1.01.08 1166 plays
- 22. Smart Mix 26: Chicago Skyway by Smart Bar Chicago 57.04 1410 plays
- 23. Smart Mix 32: The Banjee Report by Smart Bar Chicago 1.08.25 638 plays
- 24. Smart Mix 31: Ike Release by Smart Bar Chicago 1.14.12 972 plays
- 25. Smart Mix 30: Frankie Knuckles by Smart Bar Chicago 1.16.00 1503 plays
- 26. Smart Mix 29: Victor Simonelli by Smart Bar Chicago 1.26.01 860 plays
- 27. Smart Mix 28: Eats Everything by Smart Bar Chicago 2.54.35 2229 plays
- 28. Smart Mix 27: Studio Casual by Smart Bar Chicago 1.17.23 2534 plays
- Download track Go to track Justin Long at Hugo Ball February 201329. Justin Long at Hugo Ball February 2013 by Hugo Ball Chicago 56.13 1940 plays
Smart Bar began in 1982 as a way to bring new and exciting dance music and DJs to Chicago. Since then, Smart Bar has accomplished this goal repeatedly and established itself as one of the country's premier cutting edge nightclubs. At the cusp of a quarter century of bringing new music to Chicago, it's time to take a look back at how we've come so far...
Throwing Parties for Friends: The Beginning of a Dream
Owner Joe Shanahan left his hometown of Chicago for New York City in the early 1980s, intending to explore by immersion the developing art, music and dance culture taking over popular culture. At the conclusion of one year, he returned to Chicago and realized that there wasn't a club that brought together the visual, performing, experimental and fringe arts communities.
Seeking to fill that void, Shanahan drew upon his friends and travel experiences, and began to host parties for the arts and performing community in his loft. Exploiting the camaraderie in the local art community, Shanahan began to combine these DJ-driven parties with local gallery openings and live music venues. Attendance ballooned, and the parties quickly outgrew his loft space.
Finding A Home at 3730 North Clark
A local promoter directed Shanahan to 3730 North Clark Street, the building that would become Smart Bar. Originally built in 1927 as a Swedish Community Center, the building was a jazz/folk club called Stages Music Hall when Shanahan came upon it. Shanahan was enamored with the space, and in July of 1982 opened Smart Bar on the top floor of the building. Eventually, Shanahan moved Smart Bar into the lower level of the building and took over the main floor, opening the live music venue Metro there.
Building From the Foundation Up
Smart Bar became a quick success. Groundbreaking DJs Frankie Knuckles and Joe Smooth would spin regularly while bands like Ministry and Trent Reznor showcased their new "industrial" music by playing tapes of freshly recorded tracks for the crowd. The club brought in DJs from every part of the world, as well as providing a space for local DJs to develop and grow. Smart Bar also developed a symbiotic relationship with Metro, the upstairs live music venue, hosting after party shows and allowing a space for rock and dance fans to mix and explore each other's music, as well as opportunities for DJs like Paul Oakenfold and Fatboy Slim to play the larger room upstairs.
Design and Sound For The Future
In early 2006, Smart Bar re-launched with a new design and new sound system. In collaboration with Joe Shanahan, interior architect Thomas Shoner designed Smart Bar's new interior design and layout which boasted more seating, dynamic colors, and a full wall mural showcasing the work of local artists. Smart Bar tapped Funktion One, the UK audio company responsible for legendary night club systems across the globe, to power the new dance floor.
To Be Continued...
In 2007, Metro and Smart Bar will celebrate 25 years of showcasing new and developing local artists, cutting edge DJs and new genres of music. With continued accolades year after year -- most recently including AOL Cityguide's Best Dance Club and the 2006 Club World Awards Nightstalker Award for Best Underground Club -- Smart Bar has no intention of slowing down anytime soon.