Open mic draws diverse crowd

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    To share in free live music and affordable caffeine, students can go to Stay Wired Coffeehouse and Computer Services for Open Mic night on Thursday nights. Students can enjoy the talent of local musicians in a comfortable environment, Erin Bienert, manager of Stay Wired, said.

    Open Mic started in 2010 when a group of students were looking for a weekly space to perform, Bienert said.

    “They asked us for the space, and it just took off from there,” Bienert said.

    The Open Mic nights have continued to gain exposure in the community, she said. On Thursdays at 8:45 p.m., people can start signing up to perform that night. Anyone can sign up for a performance slot, Bienert said. At 9 p.m., those on the list start performing, and the night can go until midnight or 1 a.m.

    “Each performer has a 15-minute set, and that includes setup of band equipment if they need it,” Bienert said.

    Most of the acts are singing acts, but she said they do have poetry readings and comedy acts occasionally. Overall, the event is pretty informal, but Bienert said she and her staff “ask performers to limit profanity and have appropriate subject matter” in their performances.

    “It’s something that we totally embraced,” Bienert said. “It’s one of the joys of our week.”

    She said on a weekly basis they have had a large crowd of all types of people.

    “We have some sorority girls, the more bohemian types,people’s younger siblings and sometimes grandparents,” Bienert said.

    Open Mic nights are for a “wide range of people that all just get together because they love music,” Bienert said.

    Junior strategic communication major Kyla Teakell said she started going to the coffeehouse about a year ago. Looking forward to Open Mic night gets her through the week, she said.

    She started out as an audience member but has moved on to performing and helping bands set up, Teakell said. Several TCU students attend, she said, but the majority of the crowd comes from the surrounding community colleges and working musicians in the area.

    “It’s an amazing atmosphere. Very chill. And there is so much incredible talent,” Teakell said.

    Along with professional musicians, several students also play at Stay Wired. Elizabeth Azide, senior strategic communication major, said she has performed at Stay Wired several times.

    Azide said she started to pursue a musical career, so she went with a friend to check out Open Mic night. She said when she finally got the courage to perform, she was nervous and intimidated by the eclectic crowd.

    “They’re the emo types,and I come in with my cover of Ke$ha and Justin Beiber,” Azide said.

    However, after performing, she said she found it very comfortable.

    She said Stay Wired was an ideal place for anyone who wants to pursue music because the crowd was so positive and supportive.

    “Everyone there has a mutual appreciation for everyone that goes up there to do their thing,” Azide said.