Every week on Wednesdays at 8 pm at Der Rathskeller in Memorial Union, an eclectic group of students and community members alike gather to witness the greatness that is Open Mic Night. I’ve been hearing about this spectacle for years, because my roommate attends every week and occasionally sings. I had never made the journey to witness the show for myself until now, and enjoyed the opportunity to spend more time with my roommate and friend.
We arrived early in order to grab a bite to eat and sit as close to the stage as possible (my roommate is hardcore). I pulled out my computer in order to document every minute and waited for the show to begin.
7:45 pm: The host of the event, Frankie, announces that the sign up sheet is open for business and a mob of musicians swarm in and attempt to get the perfect spot, which is apparently not first and not last, but somewhere in the middle. 8 pm: Frankie hops back up onto the stage and kicks the night off by singing a song of his own. The man is a Madhatter, and let me tell you his voice is like butter. 8:10 pm: An older man with a guitar and kazoo introduces himself as Art Paul and takes the stage. I never knew that a song about peanut butter sandwiches could be so mesmerizing. 8:20 pm: This time a comedian takes the stage, and while his act is a little odd, I can’t say that it wasn’t entertaining.
8:35 pm: Back to music, the next performer up sings a few country tunes that speak to my country-loving heart and I sing along while my roommate rolls her eyes at me. 8:45 pm: Another country singer (score!). This time it’s a guy named Kevin who sounds like he belongs in Nashville. He sings two country tunes and an Ed Sheeran song that rivals Ed himself. I could have listened to that voice all night. 9 pm: I have convinced my roommate to take the stage regardless of her nerves and she kills it. I sit in my seat smiling proudly because I get to share a closet with a future superstar.
9:15 pm: At this point I’ve come to realize that Open Mic Night is the place to be on Wednesday nights. Another man with a guitar heads to the microphone and I bask in the glory of his acoustic guitar playing skills while wondering how incomplete my life was before I got dragged here. 9:30 pm: The second female performer of the night takes the stage and sings a set of original songs that are both quirky and harmonious. 9:45 pm: Frankie takes the stage once more and thanks everybody who came out.
The individuals who participate in Open Mic Night each week are incredibly talented and I would highly recommend packing up your homework and heading to Der Rathskeller for a night of music and laughs.