GRAMMY SoundChecks With All Time Low/GRAMMY U: Behind The Scenes At The House Of Blues Chicago
On Nov. 15 the Chicago Chapter, along with the GRAMMY Foundation, hosted GRAMMY SoundChecks with All Time Low and a special behind-the-scenes look at the House of Blues Chicago. Approximately 30 GRAMMY U students from the Chicago area participated in the event.
The day began as students were led to the main auditorium where they watched the band perform a soundcheck. After the performance, band members Alex Gaskarth, Jack Barakat, Rian Dawson and Zack Merrick sat down alongside tour manager Matt Flyzik and band manager Keith Lazorchak for an intimate discussion with the students that covered a variety of business related topics. Students inquired about publishing agreements, sub-label arrangements, a typical day on tour and the band's relationship with sponsors such as Nokia. Gaskarth and Lazorchak also took time to explain to students their role in administering and maintaining the band's business relationships. Before departing to prepare for the show, the band surprised each of the students with providing them autographed copies of their So Wrong, It's Right album.
Students were then introduced to Jim Darden, production manager at the House of Blues Chicago. Darden began the behind-the-scenes segment by explaining his own history in the industry as well as the history of the venue itself. Students learned about the venue's relationship with Live Nation, its accredited American folk art collection, and the complete in-house operations system of Live Nation and House of Blues. Darden then led students on a venue tour and took time to explain the use and importance of each room. The students were given a rare glimpse into the dressing rooms, production offices, stage, loading docks, and VIP areas. Once the tour was complete, Darden answered questions and offered his contact information to students who were interested in working or interning at the venue.
GRAMMY U members gained a wealth of information from this event and many remarked how refreshing it was to hear about the business side of things firsthand from a band and its managers. The Chapter may consider making the behind-the-scenes House of Blues Chicago tour a reoccurring event.