Downtown Mankato brings a lot of energy during the weekend with events and bar hopping, however Tuesday nights at Pub 500 is an opportunity to enjoy a few drinks and listen to live music.
Unlike hectic weekends, Pub 500’s atmosphere on Tuesday nights are a lot more relaxed, laid back and mostly quiet. There are a few participants supporting the performers that sit in front of the stage, right in the corner of the restaurant. The lighting is kept dimmed, mostly dark and almost romantic. The whole venue is very intimate with its modest size and quiet conversations held in the background. The only spot with sufficient lighting is up on the stage where Ocho (Dave O’Connell) hosts and presents those who are brave enough to divulge their talents upon strangers.
Alex Christofferson, 22, is a regular at open mic night. He daylights as a truck washer and channels as a composed, talented musician at night. Christofferson has been attending open mic nights at Pub 500 and Moonshiners since last year.
“You don’t get judged here,” said Christofferson. “It’s just people who like music playing music. It’s a good environment.”
Christofferson hits the stage and plays a variety of songs that resonate to most 20-year-olds. It starts with an acoustic version of “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers and a coffee-house interpretation of “Kryptonite” by 3 Doors Down, then finishes with an original, “Ceilings”.
“I just wanted to play something—I got the courage and jumped in after I saw it posted somewhere in the bar here,” he said.
He encourages people to try open mic night at least once. Christofferson said not to worry so much and get it over with.
Even if you’re just looking for something to do on Tuesday after a long day at school or work, you can stop in and enjoy the show. There are two pool tables available so you can play while you’re listening to Spanish guitar, and get some grub while you’re there. Enjoy a vodka tonic and bar food. Pub 500 offers late night deals starting at 10 p.m. for drinks and food. A shareable basket of 1 lb. fries are available for $3. Rail drinks are also available for $3.
The show starts at 9 p.m. and each performer is allowed 15 minute slots and runs until 12 a.m. The performances aren’t limited to just playing an instrument. There are a few that are accompanied by Ocho in an almost karaoke-esque manner. It’s really any kind of performance that one is willing to share with others.
Check out Pub 500’s Facebook page for more information on their events and specials. If open mic sounds like an opportunity you’ve been searching for, you can sign up at the show (if slots are open) or you can contact Ocho at 206-384-6002.