The Open Mic Night List
We know weeknights can be a tough time to find events to attend. With work the next morning, you don’t want to be out all night unless it’s for a worthwhile cause. Pittsburgh is blossoming with fresh new musical talent (maybe yourself included) and open mics are a great way for these artists to courageously put themselves on the line for the sake of their work. That seems like a cause worth supporting, right? If you are a budding new musician, it’s time you use your weeknights to jumpstart your career and wow the audience at any of these open mic nights. We’ve gathered some of the best venues around town in order to compile this list, and keep you in the know on when and where to go. Don’t worry, even if you aren’t looking to perform, these events have no cover charge, making them a fun,chill way to spend an evening with friends.
AcoustiCafe hosts an open mic at the Club Cafe in Southside every Monday night from 7 to 11PM. This open mic, modeled after some very successful open stage events in NYC and Nashville, has a featured performer kick off the night and a different theme each week. In honor of Martin Luther King Day, this upcoming week’s theme will be “Dreams.” Performers are encouraged to play songs expressing any sort of dream no matter how big or small. These events are meant to create a comfortable environment for musicians to network with fellow artists and try out new sounds with a local crowd. If you happen to play some superb acoustic tunes, this may be the place for you to show off your skill. AcoustiCafe looks for hot local artists who have been performing shows for a least a year, so this may not be the place to try and overcome stage fright. If you’re not the musical type, then this is the event to kick back and listen to great jams.
Butler St. Sessions hosts an open mic event for all types of musicians. It doesn’t matter whether you are a full band or a single performer, the stage welcomes you. Amps, a PA system, and drums are provided so there’s no need to lug all of that equipment with you when performing here. This event is also on Monday nights at Thunderbird Cafe in Lawrenceville starting at 9PM. Each week will feature a guest performer to start out the night before everyone else takes the stage. This is a great place to bust out those jazzy, folky, bluesy grooves and be supported by a crowd that digs a good jam session.
If Mondays don’t work for you, Acoustic Open Stage hosts their open mic nights on Tuesdays at Hambone’s in Lawrenceville. This is a good start for your first gig. All you have to do is show up with your instrument and choose your performance slot. You even get a free domestic draft beer if you perform. The event starts at 9PM so eat a light dinner because they have some ridiculously cheap food and drink deals, such as $1 Soft Rice & Bean Tacos, $1.25 Soft Beef or Pulled Pork Tacos until 10PM, and $2.25 Yuengling Drafts.
Another open mic hot spot is the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern. BBT’s Acoustic Open Mic Night happens every Tuesday. The night kicks off with a featured performer at 9PM then at 9:30 the stage is open for anyone willing to show what they’ve got. Be sure to get there early in order to get your name on the performing list. While you wait for your name to be called, you can take advantage of the drink specials, like all bottles for only $2.20. If you’re just going for the show, sit down and order some of the Polish specials such as potato pancakes with applesauce, pierogies, and Czamina, a Polish duck soup.
The Eclipse Lounge in Lawrenceville have their Open Mic Night event every Wednesday night from 8PM to 12AM. All you have to do is show up, put in your name, and you’re ready to perform. Even if you’re not interested in taking the stage, show up a little early to get the $1.50 PA bottles and drafts happy hour special that ends at 7PM. There is also an extensive food menu featuring several vegetarian options, such as Edamame served with warm sesame oil and sea salt, and organic grape leaves, to take advantage of while you take in the local music.
Whether you are there to play a cover song on your guitar or belt out an original tune, these open mic events give you plenty of week nights to improve your stage presence and spread your talents to the locals.