Sean McDonough began his career answering phones at Metro in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. During his 14-year tenure at the venerated club, he ascended the ranks to become the head talent buyer, booking shows with everyone from Muse to the Smashing Pumpkins to the Flaming Lips. As part of his personal mission, he worked on developing local acts including Fall Out Boy, Rise Against, Alkaline Trio, Kill Hannah, and the Smoking Popes.
While at Metro, Sean was responsible for booking the Goose Island Fest at A. Finkl & Sons Steel in 2003, which featured Sonic Youth, Guided By Voices, Bob Mould, the Psychedelic Furs, the Pharcyde, Tortoise, and Martin, Medeski & Wood.
During his tenure at Metro, Sean was part of the management team of the Smoking Popes from 1994 through their breakup in 1998. He later spearheaded the band’s 2005 reunion tour and their live “At Metro” album and DVD released on Victory Records.
In 2008, Sean packed his bags and moved to New York to book Irving Plaza and the Gramercy Theatre for Live Nation. While there he was responsible for shows with Jay-Z, Gaelic Storm, Lenny Kravitz, M83, Papa Roach, and PJ Harvey with John Parish.
Sean began booking Bottom Lounge in 2010 and helped establish the West Loop club as one of the most exciting live music venues in the city, booking diverse acts including Blonde Redhead, G-Eazy, Dashboard Confessional, Lindsey Stirling, KMFDM, Doomtree, Amon Amarth, and Bruno Mars.
In 2012, Sean returned to Live Nation as the Senior Talent Buyer for House of Blues Chicago, eventually bringing the club into the Live Nation fold. While at House of Blues Chicago, he booked acts as varied as Guns ‘N Roses, Twenty-One Pilots, B.B. King, Megan Trainor, Imagine Dragons, Rise Against, and Frank Turner. He also refocused the club’s mission by developing local artists and increasing the number of opportunities for them to play on one of Chicago’s premiere music stages.
He currently lives in Chicago with his wife Meghan, daughter, and dog, Duke of Squirrel.