It seems like Wednesday night is Portland’s universal karaoke night throughout the city with other events at The Asylum and Old Port Tavern, but Kill the Karaoke at Bayside Bowl, located at 58 Alder St. does things a little differently. By abandoning the traditional karaoke style of people singing terribly over a poor quality instrumental track, Kill the Karaoke accompanies participants with a live band. The night’s house band, Train Wreck, is comprised of some of Portland’s finest musicians, including members of The Cambiata and The Leftovers who have memorized over 100 songs that people can pick and sing.
The night’s host is Portland comedian The Fuge who calls out the names of the singers while adding in jokes and anecdotes to keep the large crowd entertained between songs. He’s also quite adamant about reminding people to order drinks and to make sure they tip their bartenders well. It’s not hard to abide either, as Bayside Bowl is well-known for its well-stocked bar, daily drink specials and a delicious draft beer selection.
Kill The Karaoke’s set-up is much the same as traditional karaoke. After looking through the extensive song list, participants sign up and take the stage once their name is called. The lyrics are on a screen in front of performers, and off to the side is a projection of the song’s music video to go along with the night’s performances.
Though the event once took place at Empire Dine and Dance, its current home Bayside Bowl offers other options if you don’t consider yourself much of a performer. You can bowl on the 12 available lanes or check out some of the fine food and drinks available at the alley. Plus, Wednesday night after 10 p.m. is Ladies’ Night, so ladies bowl for free! And for everyone else, it’s only $4 a game.
All in all, there’s a lot of fun to be had at Kill the Karaoke. For more information or to check out the complete song list, or even request that the band learns a certain song, go to killthekaraoke.com. Or, because it doesn’t cost anything to go in, just stop into Bayside Bowl on Wednesday nights between 8:30 p.m. and closing.