After stepping into The Met on a recent Friday afternoon, (at the Hope Artist Village Complex in Pawtucket) to meet co-owner Rich Lupo, it is easy to see why this has become a favored venue for both regional and national/international musicians.
The house is equipped with a powerful JBL sound system to suit any genre, and an array of stage lighting sets the performance mood. Dressing rooms (yes, real dressing rooms, with a private bathrooms and refrigerators) are
located directly in back of the stage, creating a true backstage environment.
"I remember spending agonizing hours going back and forth with Emerson [Torrey] about just a few feet of the 'perfect' stage depth." Mr. Lupo pondered as he stood looking out from his own stage right.
Because of this attention to detail, The Met is suited to host international talents such as, The Joy Formidable to local hero and WBOB personality Kris Hansen, and his Viking Jesus CD release party.
In between the national acts, the club has watched the growth of local success stories like Deer Tick and Joe Fletcher and The Wrong Reasons, while also maintaining a weekly jam session on Sunday evenings.
"I'm seeing some of the best bands on the local scene in a long time." reflects Rich... "I know that the audience is spread out demographically depending on the type of music . Last night we had Robbie Krieger (legendary guitarist for The Doors) with an all-star band, and we had folks from 20 to their 60's enjoying a great show. I still love seeing that".
Mr. Lupo also took care to mention the team of his promotions and talent buying; Heartbreak Hits' Jack and Kathy Reich, along with Mike Delehanty particularly focusing on The Met.
You can see that this is a solid and experienced partnership as co-owner (and the wife of Mr.Lupo), Sarah (herself a local songstress with a recent CD release) arrives to see to that evening's performer's hospitality is taken care of and that the load in and set up go on without a hitch. Although "a hitch" is unlikely given the professional house sound management on hand.
Most of you know Rich Lupo as the owner of Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel, which is a small theater, too large to accommodate smaller drawing acts. The Met is a way for him to get a piece of the barband atmosphere of the original.