Austin Smith and Mike Tegio
3015 Juniper Street, San Diego
On any given night in numerous San Diego neighborhoods, you can find an open mic night hosted by a local coffee house. I am a tad obsessed thanks to an experience years ago at a North Park bar where the guy on stage sang moodily to a dolphin puppet affixed to his right hand. I was mesmerized.
The varying combination of terrible musicians mixed in with remarkable ones results in a night of unintentional comedy. Open mic nights are the only place where you can find middle-aged wannabe rock stars sporting Hawaiian shirts and ill-fitting Khakis while strumming a ukulele. Or see a teenage girl screech her angst ridden lyrics into a microphone. I love the awkward performances just as much as the remarkable ones. On a recent Tuesday Evening I headed to Rebecca's in South Park for their open mic night.
23-year-old Carol Cabrera, a high school English teacher at North County’s High Tech High, was a ball of energy. She was one of the last to perform and one of the few that wrote her own music. Her little sister who couldn’t have been over 16, sporting a mouth full of braces, performed before her and was equally as talented.
Austin Smith and Mike Tegio, both 22, performed after Carol. They were the best act of the night. Austin has a young Bob Dylan, with a better voice, thing going for him. It was the first time the duo performed together and they got the entire coffee shop to clap along to one of their songs.
Rebecca's Coffee House hosts an open mic night every Tuesday from 7 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. except the 3rd Tuesday of the month.