At five-feet-eleven inches tall, Mike Cracchiolo admits he doesn't have what you'd call a bouncer's build. "A good bouncer is not there to win fights. A good bouncer is there to end fights," Cracchiolo says of the art keeping unruly rockers in check. "It's more of a psychological game than a physical game." Cracchiolo, who has put in time at the Pageant on Delmar and the Galaxy and Lo, both on Washington, is now the proprietor of the Firebird. He still watches over combustible crowds and will check IDs at the door. Cracchiolo's taken his knocks — about twelve of them on one unfortunate night in 2005, during Corrosion of Conformity's set — seen concertgoers cut others with knives and caught teens try to pass off IDs of 40-year-old men as their own. Still, seeing live bands on a regular basis keeps him coming back for more. Says Cracchiolo: "If this wasn't such an amazing experience, this business wouldn't be worth it."
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