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Gigantically Cool Open Mic at the Black Horse (Caballo Negro) Pub in Mexico City

October 29, 2015

Host Chris at Black Horse open mic in Mexico City

Host Chris at Black Horse open mic in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY – So imagine you have a sprawling city of 20 million inhabitants, and it’s in a country known for making guitars – Fender Stratocasters and Taylors among others – and there is no open mic, no open forum for musicians, even if there’s lots of music. If you started up an open mic, what would you expect? You would be right to think that you would expect something like the experience I had last night in Mexico City, at the Black Horse, or Caballo Negro, pub in the hipster part of town near the patriot’s metro station (which is not called that but I’m too lazy to look it up): You would have a rollicking, rocking, hip, cool, warm, open, neat open mic with a vast cross-section of cool musicians and an evening of laid back fun and rocking.

I am very pleased that I managed to find quickly, and make it to, this open mic, which I have been told – rightly or wrongly – is the only one in Mexico City. Hosted by expats Chris/Monty, of England, and Jairus, of Oklahoma, this Black Horse “open mic acoustic sessions” may be an expat open mic in the middle of a Latin sprawling city in the south of North America, but the flavor is definitely Mexican. It seemed last night that – happily – none of the people serving or running the bar spoke English, and a lot of the spectators were Mexican too. The beer was sufficiently Mexican, and the meal I had was Mexican too.
Organizers getting it together at Black Horse open mic in Mexico

cool kid at Black Horse open mic in Mexico City

cool kid at Black Horse open mic in Mexico City

For the first few minutes during the setting up of the open mic, I felt I was in a film noir Mexican too, as exceptionally, it turned out that on the previous night – which was a comedy open mic – someone thought it would be a great joke to kill half the sound system as well as the monitors, and there was some question as to whether it would be possible to proceed.

But the troopers who run this open mic forged onwards, and thank goodness they did, because it turned into a fabulous evening with lots of musicians. I was told that it was actually a quiet night by comparison with the usual deal, so I’m almost happy I did NOT turn up on a regular kind of night – I’d have been allowed to play two songs, no doubt, and not the four I fit in.

Started around three months ago by Chris and Jairus because there were no other open mics in Mexico City that they knew of, this place has become a magnet very quickly to all the talented musicians – mostly expat from what I see – who needed an outlet. I’m still thinking there MUST be some jamming places that many of the Mexican musicians congregate at, but I’ve not found anything yet. And in the meantime, this Black Horse is a real winner.
Third at Black Horse

Located, as I said, in a very hip neighbourhood of bars and restaurants, and some fine residences, it is the perfect venue for an open mic, with its stage and listening room at the back and on one side of the venue, and the bar on the other side, but still open to the stage, so it can attract listeners when the musician is irresistible.
Second at Black Horse

In any case, I’m walking on air for having found this place in only my second night in Mexico City, and hoping there will be at least one more discovery before I leave on Monday. In the meantime, if you’re ever in Mexico City, or if you care to drive from one end of North America to the other to check this open mic out, it’s worth it. A classic, and the right vibe and open-arm attitude!
Last at Black Horse

First at Black Horse

Cool one at Black Horse

Banjo at Black Horse

Another duet at Black Horse

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