Friday, July 17, 2009
Bryan Adams and Kelly Clarkson at Wild Horse Saloon…well people singing their songs.
Downtown Nashville is a Mecca of honky tonk bars, cowboy boots and street corner guys with a guitar and a story to tell. I’ve lived in Nashville now for 5 months and have yet to really explore Broadway. I’ve been to a couple of places when friends have a gig but that’s about it. My friend’s friend Thomas Youngblood from the band Kamelot was on a little vaca with his wife and daughter and gave us a ring. Meet us at the Wild Horse Saloon! A man I’ve been dating…let’s call him Bob since I don’t like to use real names of my inner circle. Bob was reluctant about going to a tourist filled bar with over priced chicken fingers but we got in the metal horse and headed out west…err East.
There was a line to get in, a ID checking security guard then a toll booth. They were charging a $6 cover….Bob asked the ticket girl…”so…it’s a $6 cover to eat at the restaurant??” Yup. That’s the perks of the big city. =) He made sure our out of towners where there first as the sign plainly stated “NO REFUNDS!”.
The place was HUGE! 2 or maybe it was 3…stories high, 3+ bars and a enormous dance floor complete with a line dancing instructor. 50+ eager boot scootin boogiers were following the steps and getting their inner cowgirl on.
After a few dances the band for the night took the stage. It was a cover band that covered 70’s, 80’s 90’s and current favorites. The female singer started with Heart, followed by Kelly Clarkson, Pink…etc. She was awesome and the band sounded great. I recognized the guitarist as someone “Bob” had played with before in the 80’s cover band “Bueller”.
About one set in, they announced the live Karaoke would be starting soon. WHAT!?!?! Live Karaoke!?!?!?! Being an avid watcher of American Idol and regular karaoke…live was just too exciting for words. But seeing as I can’t let you watch a video now, I’ll try.
Apparently “contestants” were supposed to sign up online as there was a $100 prize…(sheesh, that’s good for Nashville…I bet that’s as much as the band is making) then later in the night they would take 12 or so people from the audience. They called up the first 7.
Now be warned, if you are a fun lovin’ karaoke singer from your home town singing “Friends in Low Places” or “Delta Dawn”…this isn’t the Karaoke for you. This is Nashville and 95% of the singers are professionals. They came here to make it big and they play gigs like this to get noticed, and to get live audience experience.
The first 7 were all awesome…singing songs from Heart to the Wreakers to Travis Tritt to Martina Mcbride. They were all amazing show stoppers, some even better than the artist they were borrowing songs from. A stand out was the girl covering Miley Cyrus’s “The Climb”. Wow…
After two sets of “Professionals” (some with guitars even) left the stage it was time for the audience sign ups…ut oh. Amazing enough it was still awesome…that was until two teenage young girls got up to sing… together…. “Desperado”. It was obvious they were far to young to know this song and more obvious when they just stood there and fumbled through the words. The backup singers sang more of the song then they did. And we’re back to family living room karaoke. All and all only about 2 or 3 audience members didn’t get the “real singer” memo. An older woman visiting from Switzerland with crazy wild hair got up to sing a little Janis Joplin “Me and Bobbie Mcgee” and had the audience hollering in amazement. Bob explained “she is Janis Joplin!”.
Mr. Youngblood’s daughter, lets call her “Youngone”, was a very outgoing 6 year old getting up and learning to line dance, telling us who to vote for (real singers only) and very much wanting “Bob” to sign up to sing. Now Bob has been singing for more years than he would want me to mention and has a natural talent. He sings on stage nearly every week. However, Bob has yet to sing Karaoke in my presence though we’ve been on numerous occasions to such nights of glory. They were only taking 5 more people and Bob was being pulled and wooed by the cutest little face in pulling and wooing history. How could you say no to this....
Still he refused. When it looked as though a lot of people had signed up he finally gave in hoping they would be full and turn him away. He reluctantly signed up and they said they would do a lottery type deal as they had enough contestants.
They called up the final people and Bob’s name was not called. We were all simultaneously bummed and Bob was seriously relieved. They called the final singers up to the stage but one name turned out to be no show. Youngone ran up to the stage and told the organizers of her friend that wanted to sing…since there was an opening now. =P We laughed and laughed as it looked as though she was signing him up. Bob hung his head as he heard his name called. Youngone was ecstatic and pulled him to the stage. He waited in the singers corner for his turn.
When he was called to the mic we cheered as he started his song choice, Bryan Adams “Summer of 69”.
Bob comes to life on stage. As cliché of it sounds, he becomes another person. He’s confident, he’s the entertainer, he’s the front man. He’s amazing.
He was by far one of the best of the night that had signed up on the spot. Only shadowed slightly by the reincarnation of Janis Joplin.
When he left the stage people stopped him on the way back to our seats…”That was awesome man”, “You sounded just like Bryan Adams”, “great job dude”.
When the winners were announced not surprisingly someone from the first group won. People came up to Bob telling him how great he was.
Bob was starting to have a permanent grin on his face. A little more line dancing and our night was over. I think we got our $6 worth. =)