The Mason Jar’s open mic night allows EWU students to express themselves

By Logan Stanley, Staff Writer

Open Mic Night at The Mason Jar offers beer, wines and featured drinks | Logan Stanley for The Easterner
Open Mic Night at The Mason Jar offers beer, wines and featured drinks | Logan Stanley for The Easterner

Situated on the corner of 1st and F Street, The Mason Jar does more than just serve baked goods and coffee. It houses a culture of freedom, the ability to express yourself, every Thursday night from 7- 9 p.m. This freedom comes in the form of Open Mic Night.

“People just get up and do their thing,” said Ron Baer, MC of the event. “We welcome any kind of act, people can read poetry, people can do stand-up comedy, play music by themselves or play with a couple other people.”

The Mason Jar, featuring its dark oak wood flooring that starkly contrasts with the baby blue paint, is a cafe similar to one might find walking the streets of Seattle. From its mason jar lighting fixtures to open kitchen layout, it carries a modernly hip vibe.

The Open Mic setup is akin to what most think of when they envision an event like this; a few mics, chairs and a speaker system placed in front of an audience. Each entertainer signed up for their act on a piece of paper, and consisted of singing, guitars and a stand-up comedy routine. There were five performances in total.

EWU junior Matthew Riddle, the sole non-musical show of the night, was one of the first to hit the stage. It was the first time Riddle had performed stand-up before, and his act featured doses of sarcasm with primarily jokes involving females, even taking some digs at his own mother.

“I figured the best time to ask my mother something was after she took a Tylenol,” Riddle said in a joke.

Riddle vowed to be better in his next outing at the conclusion of his routine.

The next performer Lexie Batman, EWU freshman and 2016 Washington State Nashville Country Star qualifier, was also a first time participant at this year’s open mic. Batman, who has performed in the past but not at an open mic venue, said she enjoyed the setting surrounding the event.

“It’s a really friendly atmosphere. People are going to make mistakes and I don’t think anyone is going to judge you for it,” Batman said.

Batman performs the guitar and sings as well, which is what her act was comprised of. She said she is using the event as a platform to showcase herself and her music.

“I like the experience,” said Batman. “It gets me out there, gets people to know who I am. I like to perform, so if this is a way I can do it, I’m going to do it.”

With Open Mic Night, anybody with any level of expertise can perform. First-timers, like Riddle, and veterans, like EWU sophomore Ruben Soliz, each have their own place.

Soliz, who first got into music four years ago, has attended open mic nights in the past. His routine was empirically one of the crowd’s favorites. This was made evident in the rousing applause that followed his performance and the encore that ensued. Soliz feels Open Mic Night is a cultivation of local talent and an area that emphasizes openness.

“To see different talent,” said Soliz, “The atmosphere, I think, is really free, just really open. Nobody is really judging you at all. So you just come up, and you play.”

The ability to escape the judgemental nature of the real world, is what seems to makes Open Mic Night invaluable to the community. Students can come in and express themselves, in any way they want, every Thursday night 7- 9 p.m. at 101 F Street.