Brad Spurgeon's Blog

A world of music, auto racing, travel, literature, chess, wining, dining and other crazy thoughts….

Wild Times at the Vieux Léon, Despite the Holiday Season

December 28, 2012

People who are addicted to doing open mics no doubt rejoice when they are on work holidays – if they are lucky enough to have a job. But they are also most likely to be on work holidays during periods like the month of August and during the Christmas and New Year’s period. These same periods are also those when bars and open mic organizers love to close down exceptionally, leaving people who are addicted to open mics with practically nowhere to go on their holidays with so much time available to them to do open mics. This is how the world works. Fortunately, there are a few open mics that remain open during such festive periods. Of course, THEY often discover that there are not nearly as many people coming to play and listen to music in the open mics, because it is the holiday season. Last night, however, a day after Christmas, although The Highlander open mic was closed in Paris, the Vieux Léon was open – and what a wild and crazy open mic did it turn out to be….

When I arrived shortly after 10 PM, it turns out the open mic really just started to buzz along and kick into action. Hosted by Ollie Joe this time – he of the great Ptit Bonheur la Chance open mic on Tuesdays, which closed for both Christmas and New Year’s – it turned into a riotous evening, moving from one end of the musical spectrum to the other. That is, from complete amateurs, to beautiful pro musicians, and from deep and serious emotion all the way to a completely mad and crazy guy who whipped up the audience into a fever of mirthful participation and excitement and laughter. (I regret my finger accidentally turning off the videos I made of this guy, because they sure felt like “viral” material – although I put both videos here on the blog anyway.)

And for me personally, it was a great evening because I not only got to play solo, but I also got to do songs with me on my Gibson J200 and singing and with Ollie Joe on lead guitar, and another song with me and Aurelien on lead (who normally plays with Ollie Joe, and vice versa). I also got to let other people use my Gibson and listen to some great musicians make it sing….

So in the end, it was quite an unexpected Christmastime open mic, and thanks to the Vieux Léon (and Ollie Joe) for having the trooper mentality, and keeping the show going through the holiday season….

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