Lydian and Camile, the core of the band Tiger and the Freedom Birds, were just putting away their guitars when we decided to go ahead and try out the open mic night at the Mestizo Café in Salt Lake City, UT. We had finished setting up our RV on this, our first stop on the Nebraska to Alaska tour. The girls were a little nervous about playing in a big city like Salt Lake, but they were game to give it a try. So around 8:00 PM we piled into the van to go find the Mestizo Coffeehouse.
We arrived at the very tail end of the open mic event. Musicians were still standing around chatting with each other. It was a very laid back, dreadlocks and coffee kind of atmosphere, which was perfect for the first night on tour for two 13 year old musicians. The group welcomed them in and rearranged themselves to sit and listen through one last song for the night.
Lydi and Camile played their best cover, American Idiot and the group applauded them and asked them some questions. It was a yummy and welcoming environment for new musicians. Apparently, the Mestizo Café is generally welcoming to everyone. This is a coffeehouse that got off to a pretty rocky start initially, but enjoys quite a following because of the gratitude they show to their guests. As someone who has been to a LOT of open mic nights throughout the United States, I have to say that this one was particularly friendly. Like the type of place where a musician could grow.
That’s probably why they were voted best Open Mic Night by City Weekly (as well as best MOCHA).
The Mestizo Café opened in 2008 as a place dedicated to producing positive change in the community through the promotion of art and culture (and of course, great coffee). They offer a variety of different fair trade, organic coffees as well as specialty drinks, and culturally diverse food choices. They are located on the corner of 600 West and North temple inside CitiFront apartment courtyard.
Give them a call for more information about their open mic night at (801)- 596-0500 but forgive them if they don’t answer the phone on the first try. Sometimes they’re just very busy!