On a Saturday evening if you manage to negotiate through the heavy Velachery traffic and reach the popular Phoenix MarketCity mall, you would surely hear music in the air. The mall comes alive to music bands and solo performers over weekends. From bands that are just starting out to established names; the central atrium provides a great platform for all. It is a pure win-win situation for all. While shoppers can take a break and listen to some funky music in the open air, the bands and solo performers get a great push performing onstage. Every week offers a fresh dose of music. Be it popular rock bands like Faridkot, Menwhopause, Swarathma or solo performers like vocalist Shilpa Natarajan, saxophonist Maarten Visser have all performed at Phoenix.
It is definitely not the only place in the city. Cafes too are now entering the fray to host live acts and provide a platform for amateur talent. While Tryst cafe on ECR has been organising performances every few months, Ashvita Bistro in Alwarpet is also looking to invite musicians.
Numerous resto-bars and pubs in the city are opening up to the idea of stand-up comedy nights, a popular concept in the west. Talented comic artistes from across the country, including quite a few female standup comics, have been regularly making a halt in Chennai to perform. From Karan Gill, Aditi Mittal and Vir Das to the local Evam boys, Chennaiites are embracing the humorous side of life. On a weekday evening, just drive to your favourite night haunt and chances are high you will meet quite a few familiar faces sipping on cocktails and grinning from ear-to-ear over the jokes. Bay 146 at Savera hotel, Madera at Raintree Anna Salai and Starbucks at Alwarpet are some places that are regularly hosting stand-up comedy nights.
Open mic nights are another concept that Chennai is waking up to. Absolutely community-driven, these are great options to discover talent from people. Several cafes and pubs in the city host at least one open mic night per week. Stand-up comedy and music are equally popular. But many even come up with poetry open mics, wherein a group of budding poets come together to read their creations, discuss poetry and even enact poems.
Live gigs are adding a new vibe to the city. If you are a music enthusiast or have a great comic timing, then sky is the limit!