Open mic kicks off tonight in new music venue | 170206Mo | Shows for Mon. Feb. 06, 2017

Wayne Neon -GARY 17


Whether the new owners of the room at 235 Queen St. E. at the corner of Sherbourne Street can overcome the bad rep of the area and make a go of a space that’s been operated as various things over the past ten years is anyone’s guess.

But for sure if Libertarian House Pub is going to survive and be a presenter of live music, as it is tonight with the debut of a new open mic hosted by Wayne “Neon” Smith, it’s going to need the support of the people who are so quick to wring their hands when another venue closes and so slow to get their asses into the seats while the rooms in question are in operation.

For the past three years the room on the southeast corner of the intersection has been open as the Black Irish Whiskey Bar and has a pretty nice little secluded patio out back that should really help things along once the nice weather arrives.

Prior to being a bar the space, kitty corner from Moss Park on the north-west corner, was inhabited by a couple of chicken franchises for a year or two each and going back ten years it was a Coffee Time that was probably one of the locations that helped give that chain such a bad reputation.

The area isn’t as bad as it used to be by a long stretch, though it’s still basically a pretty low-rent neighbourhood and many of the buildings in the area are boarded up, including a long-vacant structure across the street on the southwest corner of the intersection that hardly makes the area feel welcoming.

Fortunately for the most part musicians are usually relatively immune from the less savoury aspects of street life in this city —perhaps in part because with what they earn it’s only those areas in which so many can afford to live.  Back before Parkdale was “Queen West West” and was regarded as a no-go zone by most sane people, I recall many nights walking the street from music venue to music bar (there was actually more live music on that strip twenty years ago than there is now) along with many other musicians, happily exchanging pleasantries with hookers and dealers and artfully dodging crazies, all of whom seemed to know it was never worth bothering the players.

With 24-hour streetcar service right out front of the Libertarian House and a guaranteed watchful eye from the local constabulary, I’d wager attending this bar for tonight’s kickoff of the new open mic is probably at least as safe as it would have been cramming into almost any bar during yesterday’s Superbowl game.

The reward of doing so should be a pretty enjoyable evening of live music, since, as I’ve told you previously, host Smith, who has some recent experience running the open stage at Free Times Café, is not only a frequent presence at other open mics in various parts of the city, he’s also a talented performer and highly versatile musician who plays several instruments and is a member of a couple of very high-calibre music ensembles, of which presumably at least some members will be in attendance to support their comrade.

There’s no cover for the 8-12 affair and I’d expect there’ll be lots of impromptu jam combos arise in addition to solo performances and a few surprises.  And if you’re a musician it’s worth noting that it the club is also planning to present several Sunday night live music shows with various acts in the next little while, so opportunity may be knocking.

-Gary 17,

SHOW LISTINGS for Monday, February 06, 2022

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*6> “Underplayed and Underpaid” interviews and performances by Guelph area bands on CFRU 93.3 FM broadcast and online

7-8> “Acoustic Workshop” with host Heather Fielding @ CIUT 89.5 FM broadcast and online


6> Heavy on The Willie @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W. ~Country

6:30> U of T Jazz Ensembles @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $

**7-1 (sign-up at 7, show starts 7:30)> open stage with host Glen Hornblast @ Free Times Café, 320 College St.

7> “Toronto Can’t Keep Quiet” solidarity singalong with MILCK and Choir! Choir! Choir! in support of Women’s March and opposing U.S. immigration ban @ Phoenix Concert Theatre, 410 Sherbourne St. ~$15

*7-10> open stage with Brad Scott @ Lola, 40 Kensington Ave.

7:30> Terry Jones @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave.

7:30> Advocats Big Band @ Seven44, 744 Mount Pleasant Road North ~R&B/Swing

*8-12> Kickoff for open mic with Wayne “Neon” Smith @ Libertarian House, 235 Queen St. E.

8> Ukulele jam @ Tranzac Lounge (Main Hall), 292 Brunswick Ave.

8:40> The Slivers; Old Man Grant @ Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W. ~indie; 0$

**9-1:30> jam with No Band Required @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave. 161110-support-the-moon

9> Sango @ Velvet Underground, 508 Queen St. W. $15

*9:30> open mic with host Mark Villamor at Amsterdam Bicycle Club, 54 The Esplanade

9:30> Humber College Jazz Ensembles @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $

10> Jordan John @ The Orbit Room, 580 College St. ~R&B/Blues; $

**10> open mic (2 songs; sign-up starts 8 p.m.) with host Chris Banks @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave.

10> Laura Merrimen @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W.

*10> live musical theatre open mic @ Statler’s, 487 Church St.


7-10> Jeremiah Taylor X @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave.ronto East ~0$

7:30> Marti Aykroyd; guest Hicks & Dawe @ The Old Nick, 123 Danforth Ave. ~songwriters; 0$

8:30-10:30> Jay Snider & Loose Cannon @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E. ~Blues

*8:45-12> Riverboat Mondays acoustic open stage jam with Julian Taylor & Tyler Ellis @ Dora Keogh, 141 Danforth Ave. TO East; 0$

*9-12> The Out of Towners @ Sauce on Danforth, 1376 Danforth Ave.

*9:30-2> Sebastian Agnello & friends @ Black Swan (ground floor), 154 Danforth Ave.; 0$


*8-12> Al Reilly’s Catalyst also featuring Anthony Cee & Rick Anderson host Rock jam @ Rockpile, 5555 Dundas St. W.


*8-11> open stage with Dan Walek @ McGradie’s, 2167 Victoria Park Ave.

9> Uke jam/workshop @ Stone Cottage Pub, 3750 Kingston Rd.


5-8> Mike & Jill Daley Jazz Duo @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Jazz

7> St. McMar Trio @ The Emmet Ray, 924 College St. ~Jazz; pwyc

*7:30> Balfolk @ La Rev, 2848 Dundas St. W. ~French Folk music & dance; $5-10/pwyc

*8-11> Ken Yoshioka @ On Cue Billiards, 349 Jane St. ~Blues

8:30> Her Harbour; Luke Kuplowsky; Drago Dit Dragon @ Burdock, 1184 Bloor St. W. ~songwriters; $10

*9-1> Hamstrung Stringband @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Bluegrass

*9-1> eclectic open stage/jam with host Nelson Sobral @ The Painted Lady, 218 Ossington Ave.

*9> Wing Night (The Band) @ Drake Hotel Lounge, 1150 Queen St. W.

9-1> Tim Hamel Trio & guest @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Jazz

9:30> Autobahn @ The Emmet Ray, 924 College St. ~Jazz; pwyc

*10> open mic with Richard McCarthy & feature @ The Hole In The Wall, 2867 Dundas St. W.


*5> open mic @ Rhapsody Barrel Bar, 179 King St. W., Kitchener

7:30-12> open mic @ The Cornerstone, 1 Wyndham St. N., Guelph

*8-12> open stage @ The Boathouse, 97 Jubilee Drive, Kitchener

*8-2> Matt Weidinger @ Jimmy Jazz, 52 Macdonell St., Guelph ~acoustic originals & covers

9:30> Turk and the Hobbits @ Duke of Wellington, 33 Erb St. W., Waterloo


*7> Rick & Gailie @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough

9?> jam night with Rob Drake @ Sticky Fingers Dunlop, 199 Essa Rd.

905 EAST

*8-11> open stage @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa


9:25-1:05> jam/open stage with backline @ Sneakers Uptown, 18025 Yonge St., Newmarket


*8> The New Rebel Westerners @ Cat ‘n’ Fiddle, 174 John St. S., Hamilton ~Country

11> Mary Simon @ Gallagher’s Bar, 69 Augusta St., Hamilton

905 WEST

*7-10> open mic with Chris Partland @ The Purple Heather, 3600 Dundas St. W., Burlington

**8-12> BBQ & jam night with Mimico Bill @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville; ($8.95 with BBQ dinner special starts at 6)

*9-1> The Dedbeats @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Rock ‘n’ Roll

*9:30-1> jam with Tom Barlow @ Shore Grill, 71 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit


Listings are organized by area in which the shows occur and within each area field shows are listed chronologically.

Listings preceded by an asterisk (*) are repeating weekly events. (Double asterisk indicates repeating event with different hosts/guest/etc.). Events preceded by question mark (?) usually take place but have not been confirmed. Admission prices followed by a slash and minus (/-) after the amount indicates door charge with availability of cheaper rates for some purchases. /+ indicates stated price is minimum.

-Copyright © 2017 by Gary “17” Webb-Proctor & TorontoMoon,ca. All Rights Reserved