Edge

Artistic Vibes’ weekly event breaks traditional open-mic mold

artisticvibes

Brothers Nick (left) and Andrew Gaines (middle) of A.B.O.B. Music perform the track “Afterparty” at Artistic Vibes’ open mic on Sept. 29 with fellow Miami artist Sam Daze. The track is a preview from their upcoming EP “The Party Pack.” // Photo Courtesy Willa Simone.

If you’ve ever been to an open-mic event, there’s a good chance you know just how bad they can be: a barely functioning microphone propped up near a stool in front of a handful of uninterested audience members. You know, the works.

Fortunately, Artistic Vibes (AV), a hidden gem of a performing-arts venues tucked away right here in Miami, is elevating the idea of the open mic to the next level. The venue features acts with real talent, spanning from stand-up comedians to musicians of all genres, in its amazing space that certainly delivers on the “vibes” portion of its name.

The deal is simple: show up on any Thursday night and either pay $5 to watch or muster up the courage to perform for free admission. After the night’s 15-or-so acts have been sound-checked and are ready to go, the crowd shuffles in and finds their seats. There’s even the option to camp out on one of the big, soft couches in the middle of the room between the heavily scrawled-on blackboards that serve as walls.

From the moment the show kicks off, it becomes clear that an incredible amount of thought and passion has gone into making the event as fun as it possibly can be for the performers and audience alike. Host and co-owner Quills Rodríguez is quick to get the audience laughing with her hilarious opening stand-up routine, and the comics who follow are eager to keep the energy going strong. With both seasoned veterans and first-timers, the comedy is diverse enough to appeal to everybody. Little, worked-in surprises range from impromptu, dancing stage entrances similar to those of daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, to guest sets from pro-wrestlers practicing for their WWE auditions. There’s never a dull moment.

The selection of musical performances is just as varied as the comedy, if not more. Quick sets of one to two songs per act keep things fresh and moving smoothly, as singer-songwriters, rappers and comedy-music hybrid acts slinging ukuleles all take their turns on the same stage, where the giant initials “AV” hang behind them in lights. Unlike typical open mics, the crowd at Artistic Vibes is enthusiastic, clapping along to the beat and cheering at the end of every song.

“[Performing] was definitely enlightening,” said Andrew Gaines, a member of the Miami hip-hop duo A.B.O.B. Music. “It made me think about how to operate in a different type of scene.”

As the night nears its end, performers enjoy the benefits of what host Quills describes as one of AV’s core philosophies. “Our goal is to make sure that there are just as many people in the audience for the last act as there were for the first act,” Quills said. With free drink giveaways running throughout the evening, the crowd is more than happy to oblige.

By the time the last performer is complete and the Artistic Vibes staff belts Semisonic’s “Closing Time,” there’s an unmistakable air of a night well-spent. For any comedian, musician or poet hoping to break into the Miami performance scene or any entertainment-lover looking for something to do on a Thursday night, Artistic Vibes’ weekly open mic is the place to be. For more information on the open mic and the other events AV hosts, check out www.artistic-vibes.com.

November 6, 2016

Reporters

Jon Vilardi


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Either the Miami Hurricanes get a collective adrenaline rush from heart-palpitating fourth quarters, ...

University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga, his face showing the strain of an ongoing ...

The No. 8 Hurricanes,  20 1/2-point favorites over next opponent North Carolina, are still one of on ...

Kudos to the two newest Atlantic Coast Conference Players of the Week: tight end Christopher Herndon ...

Mark Richt is not overly concerned with depth. Not when the eighth-ranked Miami Hurricanes (6-0, 4-0 ...

A University of Miami Ph.D. student in the Department of History sheds light on the dark history of ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

The Hurricanes may be young, but they have the talent and poise to make a deep run in March. ...

View images from the Miami soccer team's senior day match against Notre Dame, as well as shots ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

Miami tight end Christopher Herndon and linebacker Michael Pinckney were among those recognized with ...

The Miami women's tennis team wrapped up play Sunday the ITA Southeast Regional Championships P ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.