“Open Mic Night”. The phrase alone conjures up images of skinny-jean clad hipsters downing cans of one dollar PBR while filling the air with clove cigarette smoke and performing home-written acoustic ballads and slam poetry. Thankfully, Up and Under Pub, located at 1216 E. Brady Street, has the audacity to buck these trends and provide an avenue for veteran and novice bluesmen alike to showcase their chops.
The festivities music begins around 10:00pm every Monday, and the performances are bookended by reruns of Family Guy and The Simpsons that play incessantly on the televisions around the bar.
The pub’s webpage tells tell patrons to “[E]xpect nothing but the best young talent in Milwaukee”, and that description is just about spot-on. When an open mic night features such seminal hometown talents as Milwaukee Slim and the Bryan Cherry Band and the worst act of the night is an acoustic slide guitar rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited”, you know expectations are surpassed.
The quality of the music, as well as the great drink selection and prices (especially for pitchers) makes Up and Under one of the most valuable watering holes during the week. If you plan on taking the stage, be sure to arrive early to make sure there are open slots on the sign up sheet and to gather your courage, liquid or otherwise.