Featured image of open mic at Rustic Road Brewery featuring Rachel Smith and David Eckert courtesy of Pauly's Pro Pics
If you’re just moving into town, one thing that you’ll notice is that Kenosha is full of talented musicians. I credit the excellent music program in the Kenosha Unified School District - which should never be diminished. While there are relatively few of these musicians who make a living from their musical talents, there are several venues in town where they can express themselves. You’ll find local bands entertaining in bars and restaurants on most weekends.
Another important outlet for these artists, especially those staring out, is the open mic. There you’ll find musicians, comedians, poets and storytellers express their craft and hone their abilities.
Each open mic is a bit different due to the venues, the focus, and the crowd. Jason Kent, a fantastic musician in his own right, has been hosting the open mic at Captain Mike’s Beer & Burger Bar on Sunday nights for close to twenty years. “Each one offers something a bit different due to the diversity of the hosts.” Kent says, “We are the "other" open mic that allows people to hang a bit looser at times.”
Of course, you’ll always see a wide range of levels of talent at each venue. You’ll find newcomers that are just trying out performing for the first time, and seasoned performers who may be trying out new material or just having fun. In addition to mostly music-centric open mics, there’s an all comedy open mic at Public Craft Brewing once a month.
The nice thing about open mic is that it’s safe territory for everyone. If you’re in the audience, you’ll see a wide variety of entertainment. Performers get a typically supportive audience – at least I’ve never seen anyone booed off the stage.
So, when you’re going out looking for entertainment, give an open mic a chance. It’s a great way to discover new favorites and learn more about the town.
- Swede’s (Weekly) 5 p.m. - ? Hosted by Luke Olson
- Captain Mike’s (Weekly) 8-11 p.m. Hosted by Jason & Heather Kent (J&H Crossing)
- Rustic Road Brewing Company (Weekly) 8-10 p.m. Hosted by Shane Madsen
- Fusion (Weekly) 8-11 p.m. Hosted by Kai Anderson
- SazzyB (Weekly) 9 p.m. - 12 a.m. Hosted by Shane Madsen
- Union Park Tavern (Weekly Karaoke) Hosted by TNT Entertainment
- Union Park Tavern (Weekly) 7-10 p.m. Hosted by Mark Pafrath