I’m spending a month in Portland, OR and checking out the Open Mic scene. I’ll be posting my experiences here and hopefully some recordings of me playing once I get my bearings.
I’ve visited Dante’s for Karaoke From Hell on a few Monday nights prior to this trip. I would highly recommend this live-band karaoke, whether you intend to sing or not.
The house band rocks a menu of great songs as people take turns filling the lead vocalist role. There were a surprising number of vocalists who sounded ready to tour and front a band of their own. For everyone else, the crowd and band are incredibly supportive.
This is a very well-run event, with a little devil taking your song selection (tip the band for good karma and an earlier slot) and lyrics being provided on a music stand if you need them. Your host makes sure you never get lost by filling in missing vocals (hey, the song must go on!) and adding shaker, cowbell, gong (?!?) or siren as needed (hint: the siren is *never* needed).
Dante’s has a great stage and sound-system producing concert level sound pressure levels. Bring your earplugs and protect your ears! It is pure bar at Dante’s but you will find a tiny pizza window that is connected in the rear of the bar, Voodoo Doughnut next door, and a range of other “interesting” establishments nearby.
And, why yes, I did get up and sing on my most recent visit and it was a blast!
Karaoke From Hell : Monday 9PM-1AM
350 W. Burnside St
Portland, OR, OR 97209