The restaurant is dimly lit with people relaxing around the bar and round tables holding drinks and talking to folks around them. We are at Bistro Al Vino’s on Parker and Orchard. They boast an impressive wine list and delicious food. A glass of J.Lohr Syrah and I am ready. We are waiting for Avery.
So are most of the other people in the place. Karaoke is starting soon. The stage is lit with dozens of spotlights. The microphone is erected and the sound is checked in the speakers. The chatter rises above the sound. Most of the people are familiar. Most have sang with the main karaoke hosts in and around the area. The camaraderie is heartening and singers we haven’t seen in years share hugs and smiles.
Doug and I have sung karaoke on cruise ships, on vacation in other states, even Las Vegas. We have never been around a group of consistently amazing singers like we are in Colorado. Outside of New York and Hollywood I bet the state with the most beautiful voices goes to our own. I think a lot of folks think that karaoke is hokey and loud, filled with wannabe singers. You will get the occasional new group of people who are nervous to sing and outlandishly sing, “Friends in Low Places” or “Like a Virgin” but since they are so few (many times not at all in a night) then we laugh with them and applaud.
There are singers that have sung the same song every time for the past fourteen years. They are amazing at that song because of this fact but they are still applauded and patted on the back and given high fives. The encouragement is always so enlightening. It’s just a bunch of working folks taking an evening off of real life to pursue their singing.
Some of us have auditioned for singing shows and have made it a ways, some of us have been in Idol this or that around the state and had fun in competition but the real fun is in a dark bar with a cold glass of Chardonnay and friends and comrades all around. From twenty-one to eighty-one they come out to sing, some in life just trying to get by, some in suits, some in sunglasses and shorts, just having fun. We all dance, sing, laugh, and go home exhausted and restored.
If you have never been to a karaoke show, I encourage you to do so. Even if you just hold onto your glass of wine and watch, go. It is essentially a free concert. You will be blown away. Should you get the nerve to come up and sing, do so boldly, for no one is there to judge you. Everyone is there to sing and encourage one another to live more playfully and to express.
This Wednesday at Bistro Al Vino at 8:00 we will be there at our round table with friends and fellow singers ready to put on a show, even if for only a moment. See you there.