Open mics are tricky. They fill an important hole, allowing performers a chance to test new material or simply get in front of an audience for the first time. But they're rarely good for said audience, and generally not much better for the performers. That's because the open mic is often disregarded, shoved into the corner of a dive bar with abrasive lighting and a lineup of mean drunks grousing that they can't hear the TV. To have any hope, an open mic needs to be an actual performance venue with a stage and a sound system.
Pengilly's has long held the title of Boise's premier open mic. Performers and audience members come hours ahead of time to hear the dulcet tones of crooned tunes and strummed soul. But tonight, that may change because a plucky rival is standing up to challenge the existing orthodoxy.
BODO's Irish pub, Ha'Penny, which also sports a stage and sound system, as well as a similar atmosphere, is starting up a Monday-night rival and will potentially shake things up.
The Ha'Penny open mic starts at 8 p.m. and is free. Event host Larry Buttel says he will be set up for instruments, performers and even for people who need to plug in their iPhones to play music tracks to sing over.