It’s been happening for years and it’s safe to say that the Open Mic Night at Red Rock Coffee has a cult following. It’s every Monday from 7-10 pm.
It’s so much fun to see the talented people that are willing to stand up and perform in front of a coffee shop full of strangers. There’s always one main performance towards the end of the evening. Before that person is featured, lots of others muster up the courage to stand up and play the guitar, demonstrate their piano skills, or try their hand at solo acapella. If you want to perform, you need to sign up by 6:30. Each performer is allowed about 10 minutes, or enough time to sing 2 or 3 songs, read a few poems or do a short comedy routine. A PA system is provided and Steve Cavin, the MC, always helps each performer position the microphone or plug in their equipment.
It doesn’t matter how talented you are. Everyone is welcome and no one judges. Some performers forget their lines or can’t play very well and no one cares. They still get a big applause at the end of their time. It’s all very friendly. I particularly like the fact that the audience always has a few painters and sketch artists with a tablet of paper and pens or watercolors. They use each performer on stage as a model. It’s amazing to see them crank out a work of art in the 10 minutes that someone is on stage.
One of the performers last night was Alex. He’s 9 years old. He did a great job and he told us that he just started playing the piano a year ago. Another performance was by a group of 3 girls. They were each 15 years old. One played a bongo and the other two had guitars. It was beautiful. There were all different styles of music and some of the artists requested audience participation. There are always a few random percussion instruments that are passed around the audience for people to join in. Last night someone handed me a tambourine in an attempt to encourage me to give it a try. I got rid of it as fast as I possibly could. I’m happy to buy a few cappuccinos, tip the baristas really well and clap super loud after each performer, but I’m not the type to sing or bang on a tambourine.
These Open Mic Nights are free to attend, but be sure to support Red Rock by purchasing something to eat and drink while you’re sitting there enjoying fabulous free entertainment. I just love downtown Mountain View.