Written By: Hanna McLean
It’s finally karaoke season in YYC, otherwise known as summertime. So put down your beer—just for a minute—and pick up a microphone.
Karaoke night is your opportunity to show your date, your friends, and a bunch of strangers your inner Drake, Mariah Carey, or MC Hammer. Aside from the fact that karaoke is almost always a good time, you could potentially have a total High School Musical moment and meet the love of your life during an impromptu duet! (What? It could happen.)
If you’re getting slightly bored of your usual patio-and-bar routine karaoke is the perfect activity to liven things up. It’s exciting, inexpensive, and seriously empowering once you’re up on stage.
The amount of bars and restaurants that offer karaoke nights in Calgary is crazy; I’m talking every single night of the week. When you’re choosing where to go, it can be a bit overwhelming so look at reviews online or ask friends and go by word of mouth. Each karaoke night is different based on the venue and the crowd it draws so keep that in mind when planning your evening.
If you want to experience authentic Asian karaoke head to Nanta Karaoke & Bar, where you can sing in English as well as many other languages you probably can’t speak. At Nanta’s you can perform in a private room (less public shame #winning), or on the bar’s larger main stage. This bar is open Tuesday to Sunday, and with a buzzer in every individual room for service requests, Nanta is the closest thing to karaoke VIP in YYC.
For a more casual karaoke there’s Bootleggers, which also has karaoke from Tuesday to Sunday. With one of the best databases of songs in the city, it’s always a lively night at this sports bar. Hip-hop, rock, country, and pop—Bootleggers has every genre you can imagine.
If you choose to go to the Black Lion Pub & Eatery for its Wednesday night karaoke you can grab an authentic Italian pizza and sing karaoke at the same time—that’s a big thumbs up from me. And one can’t forget the Broken City Social Club’s Sunday night karaoke, the perfect place to keep the fun going at the end of your weekend.
If you’re plan is last minute and you don’t have time to do any research, Ducky’s Pub in Mission has karaoke seven nights a week—now that’s dedication. This dive bar is a classic karaoke gem in YYC, and its laid-back atmosphere is perfect for karaoke virgins.
Other establishments that offer karaoke nights are the Regal Beagle, Stonegate Pub, Cowboys Taphouse, and Galaxy Karaoke—and those are just a few of the dozens of options karaoke superstars have to choose from.
Once you pick the venue where your karaoke shenanigans will take place, you can pick the song the audience will have the pleasure of hearing you sing. You’ll probably want some liquid courage before you take the stage—just don’t overdo it or you’ll sound like Shrek singing Beyoncé. Personally, I like the 80’s hair band hits—Def Leopard’s Pour Some Sugar On Me or Warrant’s Cherry Pie— you can’t go wrong with the classics.
While you’re waiting for the MC to call your name, it’s always fun to watch the veterans—the regulars who frequent multiple karaoke nights across the city. They usually blow everyone else out of the water, but at least we came out right?
Once you catch the karaoke fever, you’ll never feel anxious to hop on stage and belt out a tune again—unless you’re really trying to impress someone who’s watching. In that case, be cool; sing something unpredictable, like PSY’s Gangham Style, that’ll get their attention for sure.