Take backup music, add willing crooners, subtract inhibitions and you’ve got a recipe for hours of memorable, often embarrassing, sometimes profound, good times. Many bars in Pittsburgh have inserted “Karaoke Night” into their weekly roster of night time events along with activities like trivia or bingo. But only a few have managed to transcend mediocrity.
Live Band Karaoke at Howlers
If you’re ready to take the next step in your career as a professional karaoke-er, join Howlers on the last Friday of every month for a night of karaoke backed by a real life band. Formerly known as Punk Rock Karaoke, Live Band Karaoke has grown to include music from multiple genres including Classic Rock and New Wave. Time to start brushing up on the German lyrics to 99 Luftballons.
Private Rooms at KBox
The only Asian style Karaoke club in Pittsburgh is the brainchild of several alumnus from University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon. KBox offers 9 rooms of various sizes all available for private bookings. Each room comes equipped with comfy couches, high quality audio systems, and access to over 80,000 songs. And in true college style, KBox offers a full menu of late night snacks like instant noodles and nachos.
Dinner & A Song at Green Pepper
The only place in Pittsburgh where you can get Bibimbap (if you haven’t had this traditional Korean dish you’re living an incomplete life) and a Whitney Houston sing-a-long all under one roof. Settle into the plush white leather couch in Green Pepper’s karaoke lounge every Friday and Saturday from 8-10pm for a healthy dose of kimchi and K-pop music videos. If you’re feeling shy, the lounge is also available for private bookings.
Saturday Nights at Nico’s Recovery Room
Beginning every night at 9:30, this cramped little bar in Bloomfield transforms into a menagerie of misfits. Decade long regulars and newcomers can be found singing everything from an ironic rendition of “The Fresh of Bel Air” theme song to a heart wrenching version of “What’s Up” by the 4 Non Blondes. Even if you have no intention of singing, come for Nico’s regular Chris Palino’s genuinely beautiful rendition of Journey’s “Open Arms”.