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Open Mic: A Greensboro Ritual

Jan 13th, 2012 | By | Category: Entertainment, Feature, Sounds

The Flatiron’s Open Mic night has become a staple in my week. Every Tuesday, I find myself sitting at the bar, listening to the people who come to showcase their talent (or lack thereof, in some rare cases). Through Open Mic, I have gotten to know the ‘regulars’ and have even become one myself. The atmosphere of the bar is welcoming, and newcomers easily get over their nerves and fears.

Open Mic host, Matty Sheets.

Open Mic night will be celebrating its tenth birthday this year. It was started by Little Mikey Roohan (of the Painted Skulls, Crap Rock All-Stars, and more), Kristin Leigh Southworth, and¬†Matty Sheets (of Matty Sheets and the Blockheads – he also contributes here at Avant Greensboro), who continues to host it. The Tuesday night ritual brings out a diverse crowd of musicians of all backgrounds and genres. Folk, hip-hop, and blues are just a few of the styles you may hear at the Flat. Open Mic has seen both well-known Greensboro musicians as well as those new to the music scene. For some, the Flatiron was the first stage they played on; for others, it’s one of a hundred different stages.

As a fan of Greensboro’s music, I look forward to hearing the talents it has to offer. Open Mic is a wonderful way to hear wonderful musicians.¬†Matty Sheets, the host, is the frontman for one of my favorite bands. The likes of Emily Stewart (The Blockheads, Emily Stewart & The Baby Teeth), Taylor Bays (Laser Rays), and Jessica ‘Lil P’ Pennell (The Blockheads, The Painted Skulls) also contribute their talents. The late Dan ‘Half-Pint’ Parks also frequented Open Mic. Along with familiar faces, I often see people new to the Flat. These newcomers range from nervous to overconfident, but soon fit right in with the tenured musicians.

Of the nine plus years the Open Mic night has been occurring, I haven’t even been there for half a year. However, the moment I stepped foot in the bar, guitar in hand, I was welcomed by those who had been there since the beginning. When I finished my allotted three songs, people I didn’t know came to tell me I did a good job. They told me to come back next week and play again. It’s an extremely different environment from the cold-faced stares I received playing in coffee shops.

Whether you’re a musician or just a listener, come check out Open Mic at the Flatiron. The crowd is respectful and people come to hear music, so the background noise is low (along with beer prices – $2.50 Yuengling on Tuesdays). Bring a guitar and a friend (furry ones included), have a beer, and see what Greensboro has to offer.

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One Comment to “Open Mic: A Greensboro Ritual”

  1. Bill Kenny says:

    It's great so see that Greensboro's music scene is so vibrant.

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