Open Mic at Trend During Heatwaves

No extremity of heat waves or heat advisories kept this week’s open mic night from being almost entirely led by the young people.

Heat waves doesn’t keep everyone inside at Trend because they offer open mic.

Open mic performances
Photo courtesy of Christine Byczkiewic.

The young have the most positive energy at times, and it showed in open mic favorite Kyle Dowling, who plays acoustic guitar left-handed and has a voice almost comparable to a mix between Jason Mraz and Joe Don Rooney, the latter of whom sings with Rascal Flatts.

A young newcomer named Tara Keeling performed three of her original songs on vocals and keyboard, entitled “Manipulator,” “You Can’t Stop Me” and “Listen to Me Now.” Her vocals are so powerful and soulful that hopefully she will return many more times to these open mic nights, and eventually really get discovered due to the potential and hark work she displays.

Usual staple and popular performer Rostafa’s chosen theme of the night featured covers by The Who. Next thing the audience knew, he performed, appropriately, a cover of “Reign O’er Me.” Although Rostafa specializes in covering classic rock tunes, he is also known for playing a diverse array of musical styles. From metal to country to folk to roots rock, he has quite a repertoire under his belt.

Physene Carter, who attends Bloomfield Tech, shared her original poetry. Both of her selections were untitled, but conveyed a very important message that African-Americans, as well as other minorities, should not be looked at or down on for their skin color because everyone is human, and should be treated as such.

Going from country-style tunes to a performance by Ohannes on an oud, which is a Middle Eastern bowl lute, definitely keeps up with the mixed bag concept, so much so he performed poetry and song, all while playing the oud throughout.

This is not to say that the event was dominated by young people, however. Performances such as singer/keyboardist Zach Halper and Greg Spinelli and Meg kept the crowd alive as well. The event was a definite mixed bag of performance styles. Billy Tanglewood half-jokingly said he would perform some of his “wintry” originals, and he did. His most “wintry” song that night was “Wild Peaks.” Although his catchy tunes did little to cool down the heat, they kept everyone going and dancing.  Ragtime music was provided by Josey on keyboard following that.

The rest of the night followed by usual jamming, and plenty of dancing from almost everyone in attendance, young and old.  It also helped that Trend’s usual selection of tasty treats, coffees and foods always keep everyone happy and energized. Again, Trend’s is an excellent place for these events not only for the eclectic atmosphere it eternally evokes, but also gives a chance for younger voices to be heard and started out at, because who knows, today’s young open mic  performers could become tomorrow’s professional musicians, poets, et cetera.

For anyone interested, open mic events run each Wednesday from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. Sign-ups start at 7, so it is pretty much imperative to come early to sign up if interested, because each week spots fill up faster and faster. Come on and bask in unpredictability and happiness!

For more information about either open mic or about the store itself, please check out the website at

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