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Who's A Rock Star?

By Julene McCoy in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 16, 2005 5:40PM

Almost every night of the week it's possible live out the rock-n-roll fantasy with Live Band Karaoke. Taking regular karaoke up a notch by allowing the singer to actually front the band of their choice. Given just the lyrics on a sheet, it can be a little more daunting than following the bouncing ball, but the adrenaline rush is definitely worth it. There are 3 bands in the Chicago area that play back up (The Hootenanners, Karaoke Dokies, and Liquid Courage) and they are obviously talented knowing, collectively, over 300 songs that will be jammed to at a moment's notice. It's a sight to behold.

Song choices range from classics such as "Jail House Rock", "Respect", and "Proud Mary" to retro-favorites from Judas Priest, Def Leppard, and Nena's "99 Red Balloons" (which gets great crowd response when sung in German) to recent hits by Jet, Foo Fighters, and Outkast. The bands help by cuing the singer or even jumping in to help if stage fright occurs. The crowd definitely gets into the whole evening cheering the new rock stars on, especially as the drinks flow fueling everyone's courage to get up on stage.

Check out the Live Band Karaoke website for all the different bars participating, dates, and choice of songs. Longstanding weekly gigs include Fridays at the Pontiac Cafe, 1531 N Damen Ave, and Sundays at Stanley's Kitchen and Tap, 1970 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicagoist personally saw Moises Alou last year at Stanley's and heard rumors about Mark Prior singing there as well.