The Capitol Heights

After Action Report – Brittany’s Restaurant

Posted 02-09-2015

Our friend Jahnel has been tellin’ us how much fun she’s had at the open mic Brittany’s Restaurant. We decided to test the veracity of that statement for our open mic challenge. Now I know this location is not within the Beltway and could reasonably be left out of the open mic challenge, but we felt it was important to experience life outside of the demilitarized zone we’ve restricted ourselves to called DC. To do so, we fired up Josh’s 2006 Carolla (affectionately called “The Rolla“) and convoyed on down to Woodbridge Virginia. We got lost a bit, played some arcade games, afforded ourselves some bad decisions, and made a wee bit o’ sweet-sweet-baby-making-music. There needs to be a HTML tag.

The Open Mic at Brittany’s is scheduled for every Monday at around 8 PM but the event might start a little later. In contrast, we arrived a tad early because we weren’t sure what the sign up sheet process was like… and ended up playing some pool and imbibing a bit before we got music oriented for the evening. Jason Masi runs this whole ro-day-o, and we met him while he was setting everything up. The open mic area is in a distinct room set away from the main bar, which is really nice since it’s like Occupy Wall Street for musicians in there. And listen to this – everybody got to play THREEE SONGS. Lately we’ve been dealing with only two songs, and that’s just a little too short for our tastes.

So after Jason sets this whole boxed social up almost single handedly – it was time for him to test his handywork out by playing first. Full disclosure, this is not the first time we’d heard Jason’s music. We had seen one of his really crazy high quality music videos on YouTube which impressed the hell out of us. It was interesting to compare and contrast the film version versus a live performance and he didn’t disappoint at all. His voice flirted with perfection and kind of sounded like Adam Levine (a little airy) with less falsetto. Honesty, it was obvious that he “gets around” the DC music scene and does this professionally because he was on a whole different level than we were. Take a look and judge for yourself!
Jason Masi

Rob was up next and played The Weight by The Band. (I pulled into Nazareth, was feelin’ about half past dead…) He had a really cool bluesy voice and ended up being one of the few there who gained the multi-instrumentalist badge because, alongside his guitar, he used his harmonicas to jam with the keyboardist. Did we mention that there was a keyboardist who was accompanying people as needed? Definitely a cool trend that we’re noticing at good open mics. Heres Rob backdropped by neon light. 100% legit.
Rob Kelley

Jacob, Jacob, Jacob…what to do with you? You showed up, and covered the hell out of a song we had JUST played with Jahnel. And your version of The Lumineers was GOOD. Maybe it was your oh so stylish dance moves, or the way we screamed the Ho Hey background part backwards and laughed to ourselves, but we had a good time while you were on stage.
Jacob Gates

Of course, the royal WE went onstage next. This was our second outing with Will and we made it glorious! We started with Sequestered Together, and then invited Will onstage to play Wagon Wheel. We’d kind of decided to just go CRAZY for this night to see what would happen and, as expected, we were better than Beyonce. In actuality, we expected the performance to be a little tighter because we’d all 3 played together before, but probably because we were so being so crazy jumping around onstage it got away from us a little. And I think Will had a much better time – which is wonderful. Here’s some pics of the craziness. Seriously take a moment and look at Kenny’s face in the bottom right hand side. Laugh. Now look again. Repeat.

TCH + Will

David Fisher is the last artist we’re going to mention today. The man’s got excellent songwriting abilities. Besides a deep and bluesy voice / a magnificent beard – he sports some entrancing guitar work. His jazzy and slightly dissonant chords are the type of thing your ear yearns to listen to, but always forget to tell you about. Talking to him after his performance, he mentioned he learned a lot of his crazy “open” or “natural” chords from Dave Matthews. I had always relied on Damien Rice and Incubus’s Mike Einziger for that, so it was cool to get a recommendation for a different set of chords to go conquer. Options are wonderful! We stayed a bit and talked to David as we saw some more folks go onstage.

David Fisher

All in all – if you’re based in DC, this place might be a little far for you to travel to but it’s worth it. Lemme tell you. It definitley has a community of it’s own and is only 45 minutes away. If you’ve never driven to a far away show before it’s fun. There’s merriment, loud sing-alongs, and inevitably food accidents. They’re the things stories are made of. So there’s basically everything you’re looking for here. Good people, good sound, time to play, and enough room to breathe. Virginia’s for lovers, and we loved our time at Brittany’s! Thanks for prodding us to go down there y’all!

Artist Info

Jason Masi
Jason Masi is a VERY busy guy. It’d be hard to mention ALL of his pages, but let’s start with the Facebook, move to that Twitter thing, swing by Reverb Nation, and finally land on his home page. Maybe that begins to cover it?

Jacob Gates
Jacob hates the internet. Down with Jacob.

Edit: We’ve been informed that Jacob does have a facebook page, but we’re definitely not linking to it at all due to his Lumineers cover being better than ours.

Rob Kelley
Rob Kelley’s band can be found on Facebook.

David Fisher
David can be found at his Reverb Nation page.

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