I Say 7

by Ryan Fitzgerald

I say 7-3, you say 4; 7-3…4. 7-3…4

And like that the October 2019 production of 734 Saturdays officially began. 734 Saturdays is a monthly showcase of local musical talent (plus featured headliners) that takes place on the second Saturday of every month at Ziggy’s bar in downtown Ypsilanti. The show starts around 9pm with an open mic, then there’s a short intermission followed by the headlining artists. There might be one or seven depending on the night. The open mic not only warms up the stage and room (both literally and figuratively), it also builds a ton of creative energy that propels the second part of the show in a powerful way. 

In fact, the term ‘open mic’ is sort of funny because in some ways it seems more like  American Idol than it does an open mic. What I mean is that the artists are all top-notch and incredibly diverse in style. Equally important is the audience who listen attentively and with enthusiastic passion. On top of that, Ziggy’s sound system is clear and deep, never too loud or too quiet. A lot of credit goes to the crew of Northern Threat Entertainment who put the show on and who do a stellar job of running sound.

I’ve gone to the last three 734 Saturdays and every time I’ve listened in awe to every performer. Even the artists who perform regularly always bring something different and new. There’s been a couple times where I’ve had the feeling of listening to the best music right now being made in the world. I have to take a short time out; there are places on earth that are just musical places, probably not more than a dozen in the world. I’m not going to try and explain it, but southeast Michigan is one of those places. There shouldn’t be any wonder at the musical quality of the open mic at Ziggy’s. Everybody performing could be famous.

I talked to Drew, one of the members of Northern Threat Entertainment, and he said they’ve been doing 734 Saturdays at Ziggy’s for about two years. The next one is coming up November 9th. After that, it will hold off for the month of December and return in January with a new format which will be more supportive of the artists. Hopefully this will bring more recognition of what it is they’re doing, which is bringing people together through music. One of the ways of doing this might be by raising the admission price from $5 to $10. The show is well worth it, but on the flipside, it would be free for those who show up before 9pm, which would include the artists signing up for the open mic (sign-up starts at 8pm). And although you’ll want to get there by 9 to catch the open mic, the show will go late.