Best Open-Mike Night Miami 2014 - Artistic Vibes
Draw up a list of the many possible places that a hub for newborn creatives might be tucked in Miami-Dade, and a cluster of warehouses stuck behind an Outback Steakhouse in Kendall would presumably be pretty close to the bottom. But get over the odd location and there's no denying the truth: Artistic Vibes brims with life and burbles with creative juices. Founded in 2010, the artist collective in a renovated warehouse gives a platform to a variety of performance art productions, from live music and poetry to stand-up comedy and theater. All genres converge every Thursday night for the most popular event, Open Mic, hosted by comedian Xander Rey and poet Quills Rodriguez. It wouldn't be a true open mike without a few rookies floundering or even some industry veterans filling the room with crushing awkwardness, but Artistic Vibes features some damn good performers who more than balance it out. Well-known local comedians Eric DaSilva and John Vargas and poet/musician Narciso Hilario Montas are just a few of the reliably great acts who frequent the stage. Artistic Vibes' atmosphere is homey and fun, a unique combination amid the typical stiff gallery or dark bar performance backdrop. Audience members can grab beer, popcorn, and other refreshments from the cash bar and settle into a sofa to watch the show. It's kind of like being in a dirty-humored, pothead-friendly version of your grandparents' living room. The AV family has an infectious enthusiasm for what they do, and the result is a well-organized but natural open mike that doesn't take itself too seriously. Best of all, cover is just $5 for nonperformers.