Just outside the entrance of Roll Up Cafe, an enormous owl stands there as if to welcome me to a night of nocturnal mystery. I just arrived at the open mic night and was pumped for some refreshing music.
Right when I entered Roll Up Cafe the lighting caught my attention. The room was not bright or too dark, but simply perfect. The lighting mixed with some nice, raw acoustic performances instantly sets a calm mood. Candles are set on every table making this a nice place for some one-on-one dating or a drastically miniature bon fire-talk with your roomies.
Roll Up Cafe’s atmosphere and the music began to feel more serene as I kept staring at the lighting and listening to the performances.
When I was watching the performers, a very dim spotlight shined on the artist. I put on my deep thinking cap and gained a new perspective on that little dimmed spotlight. I began to see the creativity and courage to experiment with music come out of those who perform on this dimly lit stage. It was a new artistic approach to music that the performers wonderfully displayed while playing there.
I watched performances from local artists, Jordan Aleman, Aubree Liz Schill and Joe Mora and saw a variety of styles. Covers of songs such as “Radioactive” and “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” along with “The Cup Song” to the classic “Stand By Me” really helped unify the audience with the artist.
Unification was needed because the noise level at Roll Up Cafe rose with more people entering, but the covered songs gave everyone an opportunity to sing along and gain a more interpersonal relationship with the performer. I felt incredibly comfortable singing along in my head that I too, felt like performing.
I cannot sing, but if I could I would definitely begin my open mic journey at Roll Up Cafe. One of the performers, Joe Mora, and I talked after his performance and he mentioned how the size of the place and customers present makes performing comfortable. He reiterated to me about the allowance to create and the freedom to experiment that’s felt at the Roll Up Cafe open mic night. And, it should be noted that performers also received free crepes after performing three songs.
One recommendation I would make when attending Roll Up Café’s open mic night is arriving early. I arrived at Roll Up Cafe around 8:30 p.m. when not too many attendees were present and you could clearly hear the performer. After 9 p.m. a rush of people entered and the noise muffled the performance. The open mic starts at 8 p.m., arrive early and you will be happy.
Overall I enjoyed my experience at Roll Up Cafe open mic night and would recommend everyone to attend. Be prepared for a refreshing night of acoustic creativity.
Roll Up Cafe can be found at 1605 S. State St. in Orem. Just look for that giant owl, he’ll show you the way. They host an Open Mic Night every Tuesday.
Charlie Kaing is a junior, UVU communication student with an emphasis in public relations. He has PR experience and honed his writing skills through internships with domestic and international companies. He traveled to Nicaragua with Help International in the summer of 2012 where he participated in humanitarian work and was involved with many community-empowering projects. He served a two-year LDS mission in Busan, South Korea. Charlie likes hip-hop dancing, has mastered patting his head and rubbing his belly at the same time and enjoys the pursuits of diverse ingenuity.