Why should you listen to me about karaoke? Well, as a former/original member of the SFKM and now an 18 year veteran of the SF Karaoke scene, I may have picked up a thing or 2. You be the judge.
So, my goto spot in Reno is the Polo Lounge. Right off the bat, you get a good vibe from the place. Robert, Nick, and Kendra are great people and they genuinely care. While the Karaoke nights have been a bit in flux since I started going, they have now stabilized on Monday nights at 8PM as a start time. The rest of the week they have live bands. Why is this important? Because they have a stage with a great audio system and good monitors. (You can actually hear yourself)
This place has not hit its groove yet, so the rotation is pretty quick. They already have a small group of avid singers, but this place can be so much more. It just needs more great patrons and singers. You won’t be disappointed, so go!
Well. Interesting. Great stage with what would be a killer sound system, but the KJ is too afraid to turn up the volume. Add to that a decent list, a few passionate singers and you get what should be a pretty ok time. The smoking int he casino is off-putting, the mediocre bar is just that, and then there is what can only be described as the dregs.
Wow. Some of these zombies are the personification of misery and self-loathing. They hang out near the bar or around the gaming machines, their dead eyes staring at the lights or the singers. They seem harmless, but one never knows with the wasted or drugged.
I guess it is a touch of old-school Reno.
Upon my 2nd visit (I was surprised I had been here on an SFKM trip 10 years or so ago), I was reintroduced to a bit of old Reno. The bartenders and KJ’s were very nice, they have a good book and a lot of space to work with.
The night I was there it was just me, and 3 other people. I actually lasted about 15 minutes, as the vibe of the singers was not my thing. (Maybe I spent way too much time in SF, or it could be that I find poorly tattooed, teeth missing drunks, singing racially-charged songs, in bad taste.)
I have been there (years ago) when the place was packed and a LOT of fun. This night, if I was the KJ, I’d have told the fool singing to leave. I need to give it one more chance.
I stopped in for Sunday night live band karaoke. Space is great, the sound system is very good, and the members of the band could all play. It was the first time I have ever done love band karaoke where there was a screen. The band was definitely playing to a background track, so it was kinda live bandish karaoke. They also had a pretty limited list, but that is to be expected.
That night, I was one and done with this place. I was 4th on the list, skipped 8 times and watched some guy named Mitch sing 4 songs. (3 country, one pop) 3 drinks in, every time Mitch got up to sing another song, I got more irritated. So, I went up to the band, asked “What the hell?” and they put me up next. (Apparently, the guy managing the list can’t read) In my usual fashion, I crushed it, but, was so irritated that there was no fun in the night. So, I left.
This is another instance of, I need to try it one more time. It could have been an off night for the band, or maybe the cosmos wanted me to call it an early evening.
They don’t do Live Band Karaoke every week so check their event schedule.
Nick from Polo is KJing a new Karaoke night at The Library. It is a great option as it is just kicking off, and looking to get established. A Stage Area, good sound system and crazy acoustics in the space make for a good place to sing.
Wes, the owner is a very nice guy and pours a solid drink. (I also had the biggest Guinness I ever had that didn’t come in a boot) As it is just starting, I have to say time will tell, but for now, it is a karaoke singers dream. (Very short rotation)
(More to come)