Karaoke: Time to Sing Your Heart Out
I love Karaoke. Not in that attention-whore all eyes on me way, or as any kind of talent reassurance (I am not particularly talented) but just out of a love for the entertainment and interaction that is achieved by a really good karaoke master.
Karaoke is an un-paralleled public event, in which a single song can bring an entire establishment together and entertain friends and complete strangers alike. There is no other high like it in the night life.
My love of karaoke has been several years in the making. Nights of karaoke in several cities — even states — has taught me a lot, and I am delighted to share my findings with the rest of the world.
It is through my many hours of ‘research’ that I have honed the fine art of karaoke. It is all in the song selection, ideally one that the majority of other people know. I am a firm believer that there is an appropriate karaoke song for every person and occasion. For instance:
Girls night out: It is important to pick songs significant to the female persuasion. Something girls can sing along with are perfect choices, like Pat Benatar’s “hit me with your best shot” or the classic, “Like a Virgin” by Madonna.
For the extremely shy: If the idea of a solo act is not your cup of tea, you need not avoid the stage. Instead, pick a song that encourages major audience sing-along, less people will actually hear you. Sure fire audience sing-along songs, “Don’t stop believin’” by Journey or “Under Pressure” by David Bowie. I guarantee these songs will result in at least half of the fellow patrons joining in – probably more.
An unexpected sighting of an ex: To salvage a potential night-ruiner sing “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon, (this I know from experience.) It is easy enough to play off as coincidental, with just the right amount of a slap in the face.
Looking to do some major entertaining: Solid crowd pleasing always ensues with songs like the Back To The Future classic, “Get out of my car” by Billy Ocean. Or, the ridiculous but hilarious “Safety Dance.” Bonus points for any kind of dance during your performance.
If the solo act is just too much: Round up a duet partner and try out the ever-popular Grease soundtrack (best for a cutesy couple), or give thought to “Take Me Or Leave Me” from the Rent soundtrack, especially if you are amongst a crowd who appreciates musical theatre (specifically gay bars). And for the more urban crowd, “Promiscuous” by Nelly Fertado and Timbaland always evoke collective head nodding.
When you just want to have a little fun: On those nights when you have had a few and are feeling particularly brave and in the mood for trying to attract a fellow or two, I would suggest “Straight Up” by Paula Abdul. The song doesn’t require a lot of talent but is sassy enough to get you some attention.
As a seasoned veteran of karaoke nights I would also like to offer a few performance tips: Alcohol can almost always enhance a karaoke night, for both performers and audience alike. However, moderation is key – if your last drink made you feel that you your vocals are the second coming of Christina Aguilera, seriously re-think your performance.
Also, keep things fun. While you may think that your talents are best displayed through a soulful rendition of “These Hands” by Jewel, sad and/or slow songs can depress people and really slow the night down, regardless of your talent. Remember, it’s karaoke. Save your soulful songs for your American Idol tryout. Lastly, while sometimes the heat of the spotlight can be a bit much for some people to tackle alone, please limit yourself to 2 back-up singers, otherwise you blur the line between Karaoke fun and sorority sing-along.