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Open Mic Review - Northern Soul

A wide angle shot of the Northern Soul open mic

700 1st St.

Hoboken, NJ

Mondays @ 8pm

Food: Yes

Bar: Yes

In a word: Fledgling

Format: 2 songs

The mic at Northern Soul just started a couple months ago and is still getting its footing as a regular mic. I’ve been twice, and both times, there were probably between half a dozen to a dozen artists which is significantly better than what I had been hearing of attendance at this mic before going.

My impression is that the bar is warming up to featuring a mic, and are still in the stages of seeing whether it can draw a crowd. This isn’t gathered from some inside info so much as the fact that the mic is off in an unseen corner away from the bar and that the first time I went they did not turn off the pop music they pipe in. I could not hear the performers from the bar the first time.

With the number of people trying to see the mic, it was kind of cramped in that corner. I was able to sit near the mic this time, because I brought food with me. (They have food so you really shouldn’t do that.)

Hopefully as they begin to draw a larger crowd the host can renegotiate the arrangement with the bar to make the mic more of a main event and less of a sideshow. It will not only give performers more of an audience, but also make it more convenient for mic attendees to get drinks and food from the bar without losing their seat.

Like the Departed Soles mic, this mic has become a darling of Soul Tribe, and seems to be quickly growing in popularity. It still seems to be an exclusively music mic, but the ability to play backing tracks, as well as the rather-large-for-the-space mixing board, allow for a wide diversity of genres and instruments/devices for soloists and acoustic acts.

Parking is kind of a pain around there but at the same time no one seems to show up on time. Do the host a favor and get there early so she can start the mic at 8 instead of doing it in spurts as people show up.


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