For those who've squeezed their way to the bar, or bruised their ribs on the front barrier, it was a day they hoped would never come. But as the Astoria this week became the latest victim of the Olympic bulldozer, Helen Clarke bids a fond farewell to the legendary West End venue.
On Wednesday night, the Astoria held its last ever gig before making way for the new Crossrail terminal at Tottenham Court Road, prematurely closing the door on a building with a colourful past.
Built on the site of a former pickle factory, the Astoria opened as a cinema, in Charing Cross Road, in 1927. A huge building, it seated more than 2,000 but underwent an unusual make-over in the 70s.
At a time when theatres all over the country were closing down, or being converted into cinemas and bingo halls, the Astoria was transformed into a theatre for live productions.
It re-opened its doors, with a production of Elvis the Musical, in 1976, but never really took off as a theatre, and the management started putting on more and more bands to fill gaps in its takings.
By the late 80s the stall seats had been ripped up, a dancefloor laid and more bars dotted around the edges of the building.
One of the few major West End venues, it became the home of infamous nightclub G-A-Y - also taking in the Astoria 2 next door.
But it was the music that will be the Astoria's legacy, with key figures of the past two decades gracing its stage. From Radiohead to Nirvana, David Bowie to Arctic Monkeys and U2 to Amy Winehouse - its alumni reads like a who's who of rock, so it seems appropriate that its last night, by Ibiza superclub Manumission, was axed, leaving the stage clear for the likes of The Automatic and Get Cape Wear Cape Fly to give the venue a raucous send off.
Music manager Anna Goss, of London-based Fear and Records, has fond memories of the Astoria."A booking agent once told me it always felt like an achievement when a band 'made it' to the level of the Astoria - it's a real benchmark - so although they weren't headlining, it was brilliant to see Johnny Foreigner who we manage supporting The Futureheads there late last year," she said.
"As expected from the dinginess of the place the dressing rooms were tiny and the backstage freezing cold - but the lighting there makes every band look iconic and it was a fantastic show.
"It's a sad loss to London's musical heritage - not only was the Astoria one of the last big London venues without branding all over it, there are now no more larger West End music venues."
Manager Ivor Wilkins joined Goss in mourning its loss: "Its history of live music will remain in our hearts," he said. "Beer soaked and memory stained, it's the end of an era."