You’ve sat all summer, plucking the strings of your sitar, writing melodies and harmonies, avoiding your college application and the gym—and not in that order. It’s time to learn where you can take that sitar and find the faces that need rocking. It’s time to attend an open mic night.
When I first arrived in Lincoln those many years ago, my picking finger was itching to bring the funk and make it big. I tuned my guitar, gargled a glass of salt water and turned to Google to find Lincoln’s hottest open mic nights. After performing for the last couple years and gargling more than my fair share of salt water, I can say with certainty that these are two of the best places to dish out some crispy tunes:
1. Meadowlark Coffee & Espresso
Located at 1624 South Street, Meadowlark features a weekly open mic night every Wednesday from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. This is one of the most diverse open mic nights in Lincoln. From acoustic, singer-songwriter Bob Dylan types to beat-boxing up-and-comers, Meadowlark boasts an eclectic soup of regular and new performers. Sign-up starts at 7:30 p.m.
2. Crescent Moon Coffee
Crescent Moon opens its mic every Thursday from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. and is in the lower level of the Apothecary in Haymarket. I started playing my first open mics here, and it’s still my favorite. Crescent Moon has a strong community of musicians that’s easy to become a part of: Just show up with a tune. And who knows—you might catch The Contrary, a band made up of Union students AJ Valcin and Elliot Mosely, performing a set. Sign-up starts at 6:30 p.m.
Meadowlark and Crescent Moon are great places to start playing music if you’re seeking to break into Lincoln’s music scene. When you sign up to play at either venue you’re given 15 minutes or three songs. And if you're going to rock some faces, be sure to make a purchase because these events don't happen without your support.
Meadowlark and Crescent Moon are prime places to meet musicians and test out your newest tunes. So tune up the ol’ sitar, dig out those chords and lyrics, gargle that salt water and get yourself to one of these open mics.
Slade is a senior studying language arts education.