I love going to big concerts and will always do so, but it seems like the more popular or famous an artist, the more it costs! They’re really raking in the money these days with VIP packages and premium seating not to mention artists like Maynard James Keenan and Geoff Tate who do wine tastings – Maynard actually makes his own wine which I do admire and enjoy – excellent juice he makes! But my point is that maybe from time to time you could skip the bigger shows and see some local acts – maybe even if you don’t skip the shows, go see a local lesser known artist which a lot of the times tend to be free. I know not every part of the country is the same but here in the bay area it’s amazing how much music you can see for next to nothing and you can support the local scene and businesses that host these events as well. It’s economics and it helps both artists and business and local economies.
I like open mics because I’m new to being a solo performer and it’s a great way to network and get some experience. I also like to go to places like Exit Theatre’s Songwriter Saturdays or Osteria’s Monday night performances hosted by Roem Baur in conjunction with KC Turner to name a few. My idea behind this post was to encourage people to go check out your local scene and meet people – it’s a great way to discover unknown music and meet interesting people who are fans or artists or both!
You can always find out via a quick search through your favorite search engine or Craig’s List or even going to the local music / instrument dealers and asking them or looking at their bulletin boards like we used to do back in the day. There are also a lot of new portals that allow you to find local shows and some focus from open mics to just local scenes like Local Music Vibe or openmics.org that cater to up and coming types and even have artists who are more established. As far as the open mic listings go there are dozens of portals out there and some are specific to regions and others try to be global portals but rest assured that if you live in a decently populated area there’s going to be an online portal or site that lists open mics. I have found that not all of them are up to date and open mics tend to be fleeting at times and don’t always last or will change. When I went to Dublin, the websites said one thing but most of the places hadn’t either updated their information or I was reading it from a now unattended list. Nonetheless these are good areas to start and you can contact them from there and see if / when they have an event.
Overall I love listening to different artists and do prefer singer / songwriters but being a composer who likes to perform original guitar instrumentals – I want some of that as well and have been to jazz shows and classical guitar recitals as well as live electronic music – whatever you enjoy, there’s certainly going to be some place where you can hear that and maybe even find something new to you in a different genre – the open mics tend to be more folksy / Americana but that’s what I enjoy about them the most is that you get surprises all the time and someone will do something completely unique or in a different style or genre that you’re not accustomed to and wow – suddenly you some new music that you never knew before and you’re supporting local music.