Editor's Note: This blog has been updated with current information on Word Wednesdays.
This is not your typical spoken-word venue. No graffiti walls, ear-piercing music, or sea of people with piercings. Instead, the V Bar offers a posh, lounge feel with its low-hanging lights, blood red walls and ambience that would suggest a square piano might be in the corner — with a small man in a bowtie ready to crescendo lightly on white keys. I was definitely caught off-guard.
But as I found earlier this month, it would be foolish to mistake the bar's mellowness for a lack of soul. Around 9:30, the DJ begins heating up, and a buzz fills the air as people began approaching the dance floor, where the mike's positioned. And from there, comedians, blues singers, freestyle rappers, gangster rappers and more form an eclectic nucleus, fitting well into the model that Patrick James wants.
"Being new to Colorado Springs," he says, "I heard so much complaining about not having anything to do here. Where I'm from, there are events like this. So why not have it here?”
People interested in hearing the performers typically sit up close near the stage, and those relaxing at the bar tune in and out at will. But during the 2 1/2-hour show I saw, which had a few breaks sprinkled in, there was one performance that got everyone's attention.
A middle-aged woman rocked the crowd with an out-of-the-blue stand-up routine, showing just the right amount of self-loathing. Everyone in the bar could giggle confidently at their status in the world scheme without feeling complete pity towards her character.
The final piece of the puzzle came courtesy master of the boom-boom-pow, Michael Dewitt. Better known as DJ Gravity, Dewitt has served as the host DJ at the V Bar for the past five years and calls it "a DJ’s dream, [where] you can play what you want as long as it’s not crap.”
All this said, you know what I'm getting at: Word Wednesdays are worth your attention. For more information, call or text 581-WORD (9673). Potential performers must sign up before 9 p.m.