Absolute Karaoke & Vanilla Ice Infiltrate the Fremont Dock"/>
During my time writing this column, no other karaoke company has kept me busier than Absolute Karaoke. They're everywhere. After two-and-a-half years of combing the greater Seattle area searching for fresh audiences to impress, I'm pretty certain at this point no one has contributed more to the growth of karaoke in this town than they have.
Whenever they announce a new venue, my first inclination is to hit that spot immediately. But I've learned (through attending some dead opening nights) that it takes about a month to get the word out in order to build a solid crowd. Last Saturday night, I hit up the Fremont Dock, a place where Absolute has hosted a karaoke show both Fridays and Saturdays since the beginning of the year.I walked in at 11:30 pm. It was far from a full house, but the singer ticker that rolled at the bottom of all the TVs showed a steady rotation of names. There was a decent amount of people, but not enough of a concentration of bodies surrounding the stage area to make things feel like there was a cohesive audience. This place is primed to be taken over by big groups.
Andrew--a.k.a. "KJ Upstairs"--was the name of the host and is newest member of Absolute's stable of dynamic KJs. I found him to be very cheerful and approachable. He also played great cuts between singers and kept the rotation moving quickly. I wasn't able to get a great sense of his vocal ability (Absolute's hosts usually have the best pipes in the room), but he did deliver a very entertaining rendition of Nelly's "Ride Wit Me," a number I'd always wanted to see someone try.
The rest of the singers sounded pretty drunk. The biggest group that night was dressed in formal wear, so they obviously had come from a wedding reception. They sang a lot of duets and group numbers. I jumped in with Erasure's "A Little Respect," and definitely caught some vibes from a couple of the bridesmaids.
My friend Nick performed "Ice Ice Baby" and I messed up by telling him that song was on my list of 13 played-out numbers that require me to take a shot to help endure the pain of listening to it again. I tried to play it off by explaining it wasn't the worst number on the list, but it was too late: I'd already embarrassed him. I felt bad. Everybody's got the right to sing whatever they want without having some asshole who thinks he knows everything about karaoke tell them what they're singing isn't cool. I mean, at least not to their face.
The Fremont Dock, 1102 N 34th St, 633-4300, FREMONT