Karaoke Korrespondent Finds a New Favorite Venue at the Crocodile's Tuesday Night Liquid Courage

petersledge.jpg
Nailing it with a "Sledgehammer."
The Venue: The Crocodile's back bar now has a karaoke night. They call it Liquid Courage Karaoke and it's on Tuesdays from 8 p.m. to midnight (or later) whenever they don't have a band performing on the mainstage. It's been a long time since I've sung at a really happening spot during the week. I arrived at 10 p.m. thinking this would be the typical "ten people there, two people singing" dead weekday night. But when I walked in the place was so packed, I had no place to sit. I had to hang back and wait for a spot at the bar to open up. Once that spot did, I was in heaven.

The Set Up: I hardly recognized the place. I've seen a few shows at the Crocodile recently, but the last time I actually hung out in that back bar was years before their renovation. The stage is set up in the immediate corner as you enter, and it opens up to a long narrow room with the bar on the right and luxurious black, high-back half-moon booths on the left. The round padded bar stools swivel and have a comfy back to them as well. The interior is decorated with enormous black and white pictures of rock icons, a grid of multi-shaded stained glass panels behind the bar, and a huge glass retracting door that serves as the backdrop for the stage. There is a monitor in front of the stage for singers to read from--the one TV they have above the bar does not have lyrics patched in yet, but that's coming soon.

The Audience: It's the ideal karaoke environment. There were about five big groups hanging out that night and one of them was a constant presence that hovered and danced around the stage. Everyone was cheering each other on. Whenever a good song was picked, people would scream and cheer the moment they recognized it. It gave me butterflies, and I haven't had those butterflies in awhile.

The KJ: DJ K-Dub managed the rotation and his buddy Miguel Rockwell was the host. K-Dub did an awesome job slipping in party songs between performers, and Rockwell had a very suave delivery as he called them to the stage. It just felt cool to be there. For a show that's been going for barely a month, they've already captured a vibe that takes some places years to develop.

The Book: The song catalogs are provided by Good Times Karaoke. The book I searched through was 252 pages long, organized by artist, and was last updated in April of 2010*.

The Performances: There wasn't one bad singer. Everyone brought their A game. This long-haired dude named Jason legitimately nailed G 'n' R's "Paradise City" within the first five minutes I was there. He was followed by a gal that sang Jodeci and a dude that sang Liz Phair, and they both absolutely hit it out of the park. I had to come up with something good. For such a young crowd there weren't too many new songs performed. It was mostly 80's and 90's pop smash hits. I decided to go with "Sledgehammer" by Peter Gabriel. K-Dub took it down a key for me, and I pretty much came as close to sounding exactly like the artist I was trying to sing as I ever have in my life. The crowd rooted me on with every verse and when it was done I received a huge ovation.

This is officially my new favorite venue of the new year and hands down the best place to sing on a Tuesday.

CROCODILE, 2200 Second Ave., 441-4618, BELLTOWN

* K Dub clarifies: "The material in the books is as recent as 2010, but I have lots of music that is much newer and totally up-to-date that isn't in the books. I don't bother updating the books any more than they are because it's too expensive and a total pain in the ass. At my shows, I always mention that there's much more than what's in the books, and that if they are looking for something that isn't in the books to come ask me. Thanks."

 
comments powered by Disqus

Friends to Follow