This starts off my first entry for reviewing every Open Mic known to man in the talented city of Los Angeles, CA.
I decided to go to this open mic on a whim because it was near my house and just so happened to be Sunday, the day it runs on weekly. The venue was quietly tucked away off a side street near the Glendale Galleria/ Americana mall-metropolis in Glendale. Upon entering, I saw a staircase knowing it would lead up to the open mic (from previous research). The upstairs section of the bar was dedicated to the open mic and was very small - it wasn't really a stage at all. The great thing about musicians is that they are able to create greatness out of any situation and that's exactly what we all did. I helped Bill, the open mic's leader, rearrange the bar furniture to make the room more of a stage. I got to the venue early as I wanted a good spot in the lineup. Sign up was at 7:45. I got there at 7:40pm and was the 4th musician there. I was hopeful more would show, and they did at 7:50pm, five minutes after schedule, Bill set out the sign up sheet and I signed up for #4. Each musician is allotted 8 minutes (or two songs equaling a similar total length). The crowd was 50% older and friendly male musicians who all seemed to know each other well from previous open mic around the city. The other half of the talent at the open mic was young and glowing artists under 30 years of age. I really appreciated this diversity. I loved hearing the crooning voice of the more mature musicians as they accompanied each other knowingly in more than one way during their sets. The first performer, (still have yet to get her name but I hear she plays city-wide often) played the piano and sang. This excited me as I was about to do the same (it feels great when people play songs similar to yours - you then know you’re in the right place).
What I didn't like about playing here is that the piano was faced towards a brick wall and therefor we could not sing to our audience. Guitar players however were at an advantage as they could face the audience while they played their songs. The genres of music ranged from Pop, Country, and Jazz to Hip-Hop and Rap. There was this one dude who rapped while strumming furiously at his guitar. It blew me away; It was a sound and musical genre I wasn’t entirely familiar with. Folk-Rap was it?
80% of performers were playing with their guitars (typical - I’ll bring my ukulele next time). There were two piano players (including myself and the talented first girl who went up who is still yet to be identified. There was one trumpet player and one awesome pop-country singer who went last and used her guitar as a sort of drum set (never seen this before - it was awesome and i told her she fucking ruled the world with her talent).
Overall, I expected a bit more enthusiasm at this open mic. One of the older male musicians playing was so passée that he even told us about how high he was onstage thanks to an edible he fed himself and his elderly mother earlier in the evening for dinner. I would also like the piano to be facing the audience somehow and for there to be more of a stage rather than an impromptu "let's set up a circle for the stage" scenario.
I will be going back to this open mic at least monthly because the house wine was about $6 a glass (great price!), the food is scrumptious, the atmosphere is clean and romantic, and I overall had a good time. The musicians were all friendly and most of them stayed until everyone had finished performing (Shame on those who left early because the end of the show is where you meet connections that last a lifetime and really get to network with those in your own community + leaving early is rude - especially if we already listened attentively to your set). Because this venue is so near to my house and didn’t seem pretentious at all, I will definitely be frequenting it to unveil my new songs and material in the weeks to come. This place is underrated yet a gem at the same time. I hope it doesn’t blow up in popularity because I don’t play on staying there past 1am. The open mic started at 8:30pm and went on until 10:30pm this time. I was told it was a slower evening as the usual crowd brings in more people to the show and it usually goes on until the end of the night/closing at midnight.