When I was at Bube's Brewery the week prior I picked up an entertainment paper and combed through it. I discovered the Chameleon Club, in Lancaster, was doing open mics on Tuesdays in the Lizard Lounge.
Free parking was first goal of the night. Last time I was in town I paid 5 bucks to park in a garage but not tonite! I found a side street and pulled into a slot.
The Chameleon Club gets regional and national touring acts passing through weekly. The main room is on the first floor. The Lizard Lounge is in the basement.
Walking in with guitar in hand I found myself somewhat lost. Like I was in a video game for the first time not sure which controls to press. I saw arrows pointing to closed ticket windows and a door or two. There was an entrance to a dimly lit hallway to the left. I moved the joystick forward and headed down the hall. This revealed a room with a bar. Three people were seated. No one was talking. No one moved. I put my guitar on a square shaped chair and surveyed the environment. I noticed another, even darker, hallway to the right. Trying not to look like I didn't know what I was doing I leaned in and looked into the abyss. It seemed my only option was to explore the next hall to see where it led. Grabbing my guitar I stepped in and made it to the elusive prize, the Lizard Lounge.
It was an empty dark room with low ceilings and cement wall, a small U shaped bar, a 4 inch raised platform in the far end and a Sopranos pinball machine lighting up the other. Next to the Sopranos was a young guy sitting in one of three chairs. I asked him if this where the open mic was. He said 'yes'. I said 'Is anyone gonna be here?'. I think he said 'A little later.' and put his head down.
The bar had a few seats around it for the lucky who would arrive early enough. A bartender appeared from behind a wall and asked me if I wanted anything. I asked him what they had on draft. No drafts. Only bottles and cans.
Small groups of people began appearing with instruments as 9:00 approached, came, and went, another late start.
Now maybe it was just the way the whole evening was going but I noticed someone ordered two slices of pizza. $2 a slice special for the night. Just plain slices. No pepperoni or sausage. I think it had a fair enough amount of cheese and it wasn't that powdered cheese stuff. It was a good cheese to tomato sauce ratio as far I as could tell. Anyway the guy was talking to a friend, eating his triangular dinner and I guessed he was done cause he pushed his paper plate forward and I noticed there was pizza crust on the plate. I've never understood the non-crust eater. What's the problem? No respect for the crust. The crust supports the slice. Without it you've got a floppy mess. Like trying to eat a soggy paper towel. At least give it credit for job its done by consuming it. This guy had a beard. He could have used the crust as some kind of edible beard pick to remove any sauce droplets or dangling cheesers. Dude! Why waste it?
The host made a quick intro and performances got started. I signed up to perform second. The first act was a duo. They turned out to be the guy I talked to when I first got there and the bearded pizza eater. They did some looping electric guitar music with drums. It was pretty good.
This was not a listening room. As with many open mics they can be social events. Many people know each other. But having the advantage of being a new face helps turn a few heads. I was able to get a couple a people to walk forward, away from the bar chat, and listen to a couple songs.
I suppose I can now use the Chameleon Club in my press kit. But having nowhere to sit at this point I slipped out quickly remembering which halls to take and turns to make.
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