The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Winner Take All! (Well, At Least a Bunch of Pizza and Beer)

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 28, 2007 5:40PM

We fell in love with the concept of live band karaoke way back when we saw the original crew, that Chicago's collective would be modeled after, perform at Arlene's Grocery years ago. When we discovered an enterprising young man was taking the idea and planting it in Chicago we had great hopes for it, but we honestly didn't foresee just how popular it would eventually become. Yow!

2007_08_lbk.gifThe thing about regular karaoke is that, well, most people just aren't really good singers. And when you're standing in front of a monitor, with a canned backing track underneath off-key warbling, it's painful to experience. But when you pair even the worst singer with a solid live band in front of a boozy and responsive crowd you can still pull off an exuberant and joy filled performance. Quite simply, the secret behind the overwhelming success of Live Band Karaoke is that in front of them, everyone truly is a star, even if only for 3 to 5 minutes.

We expect the cream of the karaoke crop to be on display tonight, when the Live Band Karaoke Championship takes place at Piece. Celebrity judges like Cheap Trick's Rick Nielson and Shellac's Bob Weston will sit on a panel and decide who is the king or queen of covers. The grand champeen will then have a chance to perform "Surrender" with Nielson himself providing the guitar riffs, along with a year's supply of pizza and beer from Piece.

But the night's not just all about the thrill of victory. The evening also functions as a fund raiser for a worthy cause. $20 donations at the door, entry fees to sing, and a raffle will all go towards the Children's Memorial Foundation. So everyone there can feel good about rocking out with their, um, respective bits out, and cheering on their favorites to win.

Photo of the author by Jocelyn Geboy