Too many open mic nights are hidden away in a back room like some shameful secret.
Not Somerville’s newest, though, which kicked off on March 25 and happens each Monday night at Davis Square’s Foundry on Elm. Foundry’s open mic, organized by manager and beer buyer Geoffrey Thompson, is not afraid to let itself be heard. With mic stands and speakers set up right at the front window, the Foundry open mic lets participants play to the entire bar. And once the weather gets warmer and the Foundry starts leaving its windows open into the evening, even passing pedestrians will be part of the audience.
And therein lies the Foundry open mic’s unique appeal. Few attend open mic nights solely to listen: most go to be heard – and, hopefully, to get a warm reception from the crowd. By setting up the stage at the very front of the bar, Foundry’s open mic gives performers a chance to play not just to the other people waiting for their turn to take the stage, but also to normal customers just enjoying a drink or a meal. When we checked out the Foundry this past Monday, there were at least 20, drinking and talking and seeming not to notice us near the window playing MGMT’s “Time to Pretend” on the ukulele.
For regulars of Somerville’s open-mic circuit, we hereby present a challenge: next Monday night, do what we could not and make the Foundry’s Monday night crowd your audience. If you start playing and they turn their heads and listen, then kid, you are going places.
Open mic night at Foundry on Elm (255 Elm St.) happens every Monday night, 10 – 12:30 p.m., with sign-ups starting at 9:30. All are welcome!