Last Wednesday May 10th marked one year of Open Mic Night at Agonic Brewing Company hosted by local artists Weston Schissel and RjQ (DCRC).
Agonic Brewing Company Co-Owner Dannyelle Moon says the last year has been "super fun, unique, and entertaining" citing a variety of genres featuring covers and original music, poetry, and some comedy.
Most nights open with Weston Schissel welcoming attendees and playing tunes from his seemingly bottomless bag of songs. On any given Wednesday you could hear Weston play John Denver, Gorillaz, Dr. Hook, Roger Miller, Everlast and more. On the rare occasion that Weston Schissel has to be else where, local radio host and sometimes rapper Ryan Quinn (RjQ) fills in playing what he describes as "a butchering of Sublime, Mason Jennings and random neck noodling of the guitar."
After the welcoming set there are a handful of regular performers including Sam Stackhouse. Stackhouse brings a fun punk and rock energy to mix with his electric guitar and a singing style reminiscent of '90s MTV and Alternative sensibilities (Butthole Surfers, Ween, Garbage etc).
Stackhouse says the open mic at Agonic "is a good space for anyone to share performance with each other. It's good to meet like-minded people. Open mics especially meant a lot as a teenager so it's nice to see them survive. Also I enjoy that it's in a bar so no one can complain about language"
Each Open Mic Night features around 5-6 performances with RjQ usually waiting to perform until the final set of the night where he puts down the guitar and flexes his skills as a rapper and emcee. He says he never really bothered to learn guitar but does what he can when needed and is more comfortable rapping or working behind the scenes recording each weeks performances for live stream on Mixcloud and playback at later dates on DirtyChaiRadio.com.
On days when the weather allows, the show gets moved on to Agonic's raised patio providing performers and attendees a chance to take in summers just off the lake in the heart of Downtown Rice Lake.
Quinn estimates the biggest night at open mic night was late summer of last year which saw around 12 performers including singer-song writers, poets, R&B singers, comedians and rappers, and approximately 50 attendees between 6-9pm. The next open Mic at Agonic Brewing Company will be Wednesday May 24th at 6pm.