Open mic night with (whatever his name is)

by agoodnow

Yesterday a good friend of mine, James,  called me to let me know that he would be playing an open mic night in Brooklyn.

The local was a place called Bar 4 in Park Slope.  A cozy little place with a half decent selection of beers on tap.   It was by all means a small place, but it added to the intimacy between the performers and crowd. 

James was to go on stage at 9.  I got there early to chat with him for a while before he had to go on.   A couple of my other buddies from high school were there as well.  

A little background

On Sunday after my race I went to lunch with my friend James and a married couple (married couples do not need names)   James informed me that he had played an open mic night in Manhattan the previous week.  I was furious.  I told him that if he ever played another open mic night and did not tell me that I would harm him in ways unimaginable. (ok, that part didn’t happen, but I was disappointed that he did not call me)

James is one of the most shy people I have ever met.  He doesn’t date much.  He has his group of friend’s and does not stray too far from them.  He is very close to his family.

Let’s just say he is not the type of guy who is giving many speeches, going up to a group of random girls, or for that matter, performing at open mic nights……………

Oh how wrong I was in that assessment.

Here is what happened:

1. I got to the bar and drank a beer.

2. Drank another beer (I figured if I got drunk I would think that my friend would suck less and therefore I would not have to lie to him about liking his performance.  As you can see I was a tad pessimistic about how the performance might go)

3.  Listen to a couple of acts who were good.  I was impressed.  Some real talent in the room.  One guy had a line in his song, “I come from a city know for guns and insurance.”  Boy can I relate to half of that…….

4. Beer me.

5. James is announced to start playing.   I lean over to one of our friends and ask, “Ok, is he any good?”  He responds by saying, “Oh yeah, he really belts it out”   I still have my reservations……

6. James is announced by a different name.  His stage name.  (Oh Jesus Christ.  Really?  Your second open mic and now you have a stage name.  Fucking diva this kid turned out to be…….)

7.  He gets up there and starts strumming his guitar.  Introduces himself by his stage name (I roll my eyes) and says that he is doing some covers.  (Hold on.  He told me that these were all original songs)  The covers were originally by………wait for it………….James (insert his last name here).   Oh yes.  That happened.

8. Get the fuck out of here.  This is good.  Like actually good.

9. Where did this voice come from?  Who the fuck is this?  Is there a tape recorder in background,  Milli Vanilli…..

10.  He was amazing.  His songs were original.  He owned the stage.  He loved being up there.  His voice was strong.

11. Right at the beginning of his second (and last) song another good friend of ours (I’ll call him Ste………because he is engaged and only half of a person now) was able to show up.  I know it must have meant a lot to James or…….whatever he calls himself these days…

12. James or (whatever rockstar name he has) gets off stage and I’m speechless.  All I can do is buy him a shot for his efforts.   I was thoroughly impressed.

13. About 6 of us are standing around talking about his performance and we had to be told by the MC to quiet down so that other could get on with their show.  I guess I was overly excited by how well he did.

That was it.  Great show.  I am really proud of James.  It takes a lot of balls to get up on stage, alone, and perform the way he did. 

I’m thinking about handling the management of his career.  We agreed to a standard 20%. 

Look for the EP coming out in December.   This kid is going places.