Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Quest for Karaoke—Chapter Nine: Liquid Revisited

Posted By on Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 6:00 AM

After my first karaoke expedition to Liquid, I didn't plan on going back. But I recently found myself there on one of those meandering directionless evenings and decided to give it another shot.

The results were mixed.

There were severe technical difficulties with both the sound and the playback that delayed karaoke for more than an hour. And then once it got going, the music randomly cut out and many of the karaoke tracks weren't actually karaoke tracks—the vocals were still in them.

And while I'm wiling to forgive the technical difficulties as a non-standard occurrence, the book is another story altogether.

While it should be a huge plus that Liquid now actually has a book listing the songs—they didn't on my last trip—it was in no order. It wasn't organized by artist or song or even alphabetized, just a 40-page info dump every bit as useless for finding a song as the old method of asking the KJ what he/she had.

And the KJ was almost as much of a hot mess as the book. She jumped on and off the stage randomly, leaving giant spots of dead air when singers finished and she occasionally forgot songs that people submitted.

There is an upside to such rampant chaos: a total lack of censorship. Bring a drink, change the lyrics, cuss out your ex, dry hump your duet partner, it's all part of the show. That lack of formality still remains Liquid's greatest karaoke strength.

They also had Baba O'Riley, by The Who, which every other k-bar I've been to in Boise has so far lacked.

The final backhanded quality, was that since things were such a functional disaster, there was a really short wait to sing. Unless of course the KJ forgot your song, and then it was just a short wait—a five-deep rotation instead of three.

But even with a short wait, it was a frustrating experience. My cohort for the evening, who is not a karaoke aficionado, said that the sloppy execution and war-zone of a book "devalued the experience." If someone who doesn't give a hoot about karaoke is vexed, that's a sign. A big one flashing in neon and blaring off-key renditions of Whitney Houston while riding a unicycle.

The quest continues ...

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