Reviewed by Rebecca Sheriff
I recently attended Open Mike Night at Cyber Café West in Binghamton. Open Mike occurs the first Tuesday of every month at 7:30 p.m. (sign up to perform prior to 7:30). All sorts of performers are welcome: poets, musicians, comedians and the like. Guitars are even available for use by performers.
A poet was on stage when I came in. It was refreshing as poetry readings are not something found often in the area. However, I had difficulty following the content as the use of profanity seemed more for shock value than anything else. The event had a host who helped to facilitate things although I also could have done without his profanity.
After the poet some very brave souls performed what appeared to be their original songs, singing and playing guitar. The songs and performances were impressive for an Open Mike Night. A second poet courageously read some very emotional and personal poetry, followed by another singer/songwriter with a strong voice. A duo — male guitar player and female vocalist — performed some excellent covers. Performers were of all ages and styles offering the audience a variety of entertainment.
All the performers got to utilize the same stage, lighting and sound setup as professionals that perform at the café on other nights. A sound person was on hand to ensure the quality of the performances.
Open Mike at Cyber is definitely worth checking out as an observer or performer. It’s a great way to hear talent you might not otherwise have the chance to and/or to try out your material and performance skills for an audience.