The Getaway Tavern in Mountlake Terrace is a Thursday to Sunday karaoke venue that recently made an adjustment to their schedule that I hope and pray will be the start of something revolutionary. They moved their Sunday start time from 9 p.m. to 7 p.m. It's a practical decision, considering hardly anyone comes out to sing late on Sunday nights anywhere, especially outside of the city.
Anyone want to lend this outfit to KK?
But my issue is with the fact that there are virtually no venues that start karaoke earlier than 9 p.m. on any night. I've covered close to 130 karaoke bars since 2009, and with the exception of a couple of private room establishments (which do not count), I haven't found a single place to sing during happy hour anywhere, ever. Let's consider Hula Hula, for example. They draw the biggest crowds around, every aspect of the place is catered for karaoke, but on not one of their seven nights a week do they even consider starting before 9 p.m.
As undeniable as its popularity has become, there's still that stigma surrounding karaoke that keeps venues from fully embracing it. So they hold off on the show for as long as they can to keep from alienating the two or three people in the place who despise karaoke. I'm calling on k-bar owners everywhere to finally say "fuck off" to these captious pricks so we can get the party started as early as possible.All that said, I arrived at the Getaway around 9 p.m. last Sunday (Look, I smoke a ton of weed on Sundays. It's a miracle I was able to get off the couch at all). Driving up, I realized a great move would have been to pre-funk with a few beers during a late matinee at Cinebarre (three blocks away) so I could be good and loose for singing later, but the Getaway beer fridge took care of me. They had a decent variety of 22 oz. cans of domestic lagers. I don't know what it is, but I love chugging Rainiers from a master cylinder.
There were around 15 people there. It was an older crowd, but the interior of the place reminded me of a youth summer camp recreation cabin with booze. The bar was in the back and tables were spread all around, but there was a lot of room to move. The stage area was tucked away in its own corner, but performers could still be seen from every seat in the house.
I walked in as this gal named Mo was singing "Put Your Records On" by Corinne Bailey Rae. I try to stay away from using the word "amazing" when describing karaoke performances, but that's how good Mo was. She could be on The Voice. Her five friends made up the rotation, and they were all good. There was a black guy named David who delivered a nice rendition of "Lady" by Kenny Rogers. Then there was this white guy named Johnny C who sang everything from '90s Eagles to Josh Groban.
Johnny's selections inspired me to dip into my bank of adult contemporary numbers. I opened with "Will You Still Love Me" by Chicago and it was a total embarrassment. I redeemed myself with "I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues" by Elton John, and that's when I realized how great the host, Dena, was. She gave me the nicest compliments as I sang. Dena's a seasoned host and has been KJ at Getaway since leaving O'Houlies (on the other side of town) two years ago. Her Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows are the place to sing in Mountlake Terrace.
THE GETAWAY, 24309 56th Ave. W., (425) 771-8478, MOUNTLAKE TERRACE