Hungry for the mike! This little performer gets into the music.
The regulars at the Open Mic night on Saturday, September 7th at the Waterworks Theatre in Wetaskiwin knew they would be leaving a chilly fall evening on the outside to join a warm, cozy atmosphere on the inside. First-timers entering the ‘coffee house’ setting with musical instruments in hand, were warmly greeted and welcomed by other performers and supporters. Following the sound check of a modern sound system, the ‘house band’ opened the evening’s performance with a blues song.
Anyone with the desire and courage to get up on the stage in front of an audience can simply show up at the Wetaskiwin Waterworks Theatre every second Saturday, sign-in and wait for the MC to call out their name. Each performer is offered the opportunity to perform up to 3 musical selections. Others who enjoy live music but lack the talent or courage to perform, can simply show up, make a donation of their choice in the ‘black hat’ sitting on the entrance table, have a cup of coffee or light refreshment and enjoy the show.
Warren Fairhurst of Warren’s Music is one of the driving forces behind Open Mic Night. “Every show is very different. We just don’t know who will show up and what their act might be so that even makes it more entertaining.” Open Mic has hosted classical guitar and piano players, singer-songwriters performing original music, bands playing cover tunes, a rapper, a trombone player, a Celtic band, country, blues, spiritual tunes and a whole lotta rock and roll. Fairhurst was kept busy during the entire evening ensuring taped backup music was connected to the professional sound system and sound levels were appropriately regulated to each performer’s style. Thanks to Fairhurst, all the musicians have to do is arrive, plug and play
Open Mic is different from performing. It is an opportunity for veteran musicians and aspiring and emerging artists to perform in front of a live audience. What makes it different is the audience is loaded with fellow musicians who show mutual respect and provide a friendly, polite and encouraging environment in which to perform; quite different from launching a career in a bar room gig.
One-by-one performers went to the front of the room and provided the audience with a wide range of musical styles. Throughout the evening it was evident the love of music was the catalyst for an audience that ignored varying degrees of quality and style. There were no age barriers as musicians ranging in age from a group of teens to seasoned musicians blended into one huge performance. Some chose to perform solo while others took advantage of having ‘house band’ musicians ‘back them up’. Some performed well known songs and music while others shared the first-time-ever music they had written themselves. Hungry for the mike! This little performer gets into the music.