Open Mic Big Stage Competition at Infinity Hall

Written by Emily Edelman

About a month ago, I found myself needing a change of pace in my Wednesday routine and headed over to Infinity Hall to sit in on Open Mic Night. At this point I would like to point out that I am not a musician. I tried to be one (several times, in fact) but I can’t even sing and clap my hands at the same time. I like musicians, though (this is good, as I have worked with them for the majority of my professional life), and my fondness for them often sends me out of my comfort zone and into music venues to watch and hear them at work. Open mics are wonderful; they allow musicians to practice their art and bounce ideas off of their peers while providing a supportive environment in which to debut new material and take musical risks. Infinity Hall’s Open Mic Night does these things well (as is evidenced by the fact that there are more than a few people who travel 90 minutes or more to participate) but also goes a bit further: performers are eligible to compete for a chance to be an opening act for an upcoming show.

On May 29 Infinity Hall held the first of what will hopefully be many of these competitions. Twelve acts were selected from the open mic participants to play their music on the stage. Even as a non-musician, I could sense and appreciate the performers’ excitement: they were performing their (mostly original) songs in a restored turn-of-the-century theatre with great acoustics and top-notch sound engineering. The supportive environment I mentioned earlier was a big part of the show due to the large number of open mic performers present who were not finalists and the attention of an almost-capacity audience: we listened to every note, laughed at every joke, and held our collective breath when a terrific thunderstorm briefly knocked out the electricity. The people on stage were our friends and neighbors and the opportunity they’d been given was exciting to share with them.

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The community that has grown up around Infinity Hall’s Open Mic Night is certainly fun for the performers, and it offers a great experience for spectators, too. I’ve been attending only a short while, but I have already made friends and been introduced to music I probably would not have sought out on my own. I’m not out of place there; there’s always a conversation to be had and another musical style or influence to discuss.

The Open Mic Big Stage Competition presents a unique chance for participants to play a great venue and, for the non-musically-inclined among us, to see talented local musicians and appreciate what they can do.

Open Mic continues at Infinity Hall this Wednesday June 5th, around 8:15, with sign-up starting after 7pm.  Come join the fun!

Head over to Infinity Hall’s YouTube page to watch past Open Mic Performances!

On Sale: The Tubes..Ryan Montbleau Band..Swearingen & Beedle..Little Feat’s Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett..Blue Coupe..Beau Bolero

The Tubes featuring Fee Waybill

Saturday, November 2nd • 8:00 pm

Rock’s most exciting, in-your-face musicians return to the Infinity Stage for what promises to be a VERY memorable night! The Tubes are in a category all their own. Don’t miss out on this one!

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Ryan Montbleau Band

Saturday, August 17th • 8:00 pm

Ryan Montbleau and his band are bringing their distinctive, long-fermenting blend of neo-folk, classic soul, and kick-out-the-jams Americana to Infinity Hall!


Swearingen & Beedle: performing the music of Simon and Garfunkel

Sunday, September 8th • 7:30 pm

With a quiet stage and an acoustic guitar, A.J. and Jonathan re-create the memories and capture the true essence of Simon and Garfunkel.

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Little Feat’s Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett

Friday, August 2nd • 8:00 pm

Great vocals and burnin’ guitars have always been Paul and Fred’s trademark contribution to Little Feat. These two virtuoso’s are at it again and will simply blow you away.

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Blue Coupe

Saturday, July 6th • 8:00 pm

Former members of Alice Cooper (Dennis Dunaway) and Blue Oyster Cult (Joe and Albert Bouchard) have joined forces to create a Rock n Roll powerhouse. This show is not to be missed!

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Beau Bolero – Steely Dan Tribute

Friday, September 6th • 8:00 pm

America’s favorite Steely Dan tribute stops by Infinity with their note for note renditions that will take you back to the good ol’ days and leave you wanting more.

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Ray Wylie Hubbard plays Infinity Hall this Friday, 5/24

By Jon Riedeman

rwh1If I did not already know and love Ray Wylie Hubbard’s raw and gritty Texas sound, this would be enough to get me to his show this Friday night:

“how to be write like me: E chord without the third. gloria or louie, louie riff. smokestack lightning groove. nursery rhymes about reptiles, card games, the devil, knives.
throw away all flat picks and get them fingers thinking independently from each other.
listen to mance, lightnin, muddy, the wolf, john lee, townes, l. cohen and ernest tubb.
read a lot of mythology.
get a pair of rough out cowboy boots, a black t shirt, your grandmother’s wire rim glasses and put blue lenses in ’em and cut your own hair.
thats it.
it ain’t exactly secrets of the spinx.
now go forth into the adventurous joyful mysterious world of songwriting and wear it as if it were an albatross hanging around your neck till judgement day.
also know there will be years on your income tax return you will be just above hobby status.
good luck (but don’t depend on it)”–Ray Wylie Hubbard

OK, see you at Infinity Hall,  Friday night!

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On Sale: Ani DiFranco; Tom Rush; Ten Years After; John Scofield; Live Wire (Tribute to AC/DC)

Ani DiFranco

Monday, November 11th • 8:00 pm

Ani DiFranco uses her voice and her guitar as honestly and unflinchingly as she can, writing and playing songs that come straight from her own experience, her boundless imagination, her sharp wit, and her ever-more-nuanced understanding of how the world works. We are extremely honored to host her at Infinity Hall!

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An Evening with Tom Rush

Thursday, September 12th • 8:00 pm

Tom Rush returns to the Infinity stage with his influential folk music. He plays passionately and tenderly…knitting together the musical traditions and talents of our times.

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Ten Years After

Tuesday, August 20th • 8:00 pm

This legendary group rides into the future with a new album and a catalog of hit songs that will have you singing along all night!!

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John Scofield

Friday, September 13th • 8:00 pm

Possessor of a very distinctive sound and stylistic diversity, Scofield is a masterful jazz improviser whose music generally falls somewhere between post-bop, funk edged jazz, and RnB.

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Live Wire (Tribute to AC/DC)

Saturday, June 15th • 8:00 pm

Get ready to rock out! Live Wire’s live show is the most accurate duplication of the original band that AC/DC fans worldwide have come to love.

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Richie Havens: More Than Just Making Music

Written by Jon Riedeman

Richie Havens performs on stage at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage FestivOn the night Richie Havens died I called my sister and we shared Richie Havens stories. We have loved him since we were kids and were fortunate to have seen him play and talked with him many times.

I’m sure thousands of Richie Havens stories have been passed back and forth these last two weeks. He was that way, his concerts were more than just making music, they were making  connections. He would walk onto stage like a shaman in his long tunic, rings on every finger. His warmth, his sincerity, that spark in his eyes, his soft voice, his music  would touch people deeply.

He was kind and generous and would always take the time to talk and share stories. After one concert my sister told him how much she like his song “Paradise”.  She wanted to learn to play the song so she asked him if he had published a songbook. He said no, he did not have a songbook, but a few days later he sent her an email. “It’s always nice to hear from friends,” he said, I am working on a book of songs but until then…” below he had written out the lyrics and the chords for the song.

My first connection with Richie Havens was at Woodstock. Not at the festival in 1969, I was too young for that, but thirty years later when Melanie, Country Joe, Arlo, Johnny Winter and Richie Havens returned to Yasgur’s Farm for a reunion concert. Gave me a chill  to step  onto the hillside where  half a million kids had converged for a festival that amazed the world and defined an era. Before Richie Havens played, he spoke about impact of Woodstock,  the importance of the music and the power of that land.  He said he believed that we were sitting on a powerful spot, that the energy of each performer who had played at Woodstock was still there. “I know it’s here, I can feel it” he said.

Richie Havens was slated to be Infinity Hall’s first performer when we opened four years ago, but our opening date was delayed so his concert had to be pushed back a few months. A huge snowstorm hit on the day of his show. Richie and his wife left their home in Brooklyn and drove 12 hours through the storm, arriving just minutes before showtime. He played a wonderful show and stayed long after to talk with fans and sign autographs.

I am so grateful to have known him, grateful for the gifts he left us;  his beautiful music and poetry. Richie was cremated last Tuesday and his ashes were placed in a stone pyramid urn. Later this summer they will be brought back to Yasgur’s Farm and scattered across the site of the Woodstock festival, the land he revered.

We will miss you Richie. But your energy is still with us, up on our stage. I know it’s there. I can feel it.

On Sale: Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Leon Redbone, Tom Papa, Vienna Teng, Joshua Payne, Infinity Hall’s Rising Star Series

Robert Randolph & The Family Band 

Sunday, July 28th • 7:30 pm

Randolph’s unprecedented prowess on his instrument garnered him a spot on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” list and made him one of the most sought after funk and soul artists today. Don’t miss his stop at Infinity Hall!


Leon Redbone

Sunday, August 25th • 7:30 pm

Get ready for some flapper-era radio ditties, Depression-spawned ragtime and World War II folk-jazz from the one and only, Leon Redbone. His music and unique voice have been featured on television, radio and blockbuster films.


Tom Papa
 
Friday, June 7th • 8:00 pm

With multiple Late Night appearances, television cameos, and even a starring role opposite Matt Damon in “The Informant”, it is fair to say that Tom Papa is a gifted and hilarious entertainer. Don’t miss his rare performance at Infinity Music Hall!

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Vienna Teng

Wednesday, October 2nd • 8:00 pm

Vienna Teng has shared the stage with Joan Baez, Shawn Colvin and Marc Cohn, to name a few. Her music mixes classical, folk, pop, jazz and Americana, and is loved around the world. It’s a perfect fit for our acoustically pristine hall. We know you’ll agree.

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Joshua Payne

Sunday, June 16th • 2:00 pm

Joshua Payne is considered one of the premier voices of our time. He is classically-trained and has a soul to match. He’s put out numerous critically acclaimed albums, performs regularly with Jim Brickman, and was voted one of People magazine’s sexiest men!!

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Infinity Hall’s Rising Star Series featuring
Glen Roth, Kerri Powers and Jeff Leblanc
Sunday, June 23rd • 7:30 pm

The three artists we’ve chosen for this segment of our series are each exceptional in their own right.  If you’re interested in being in on who’s new and about to break, then this night is for you.

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