Don Schatte took Hangar 9’s stage Tuesday with all the lights on him.
He picked up the microphone in front of a crowd and began to sing Garth Brooks’s “Friends in Low Places.” While Schatte didn’t perform an exact rendition, he sang with confidence, if not in key.
After his performance, many other audience members got a chance to take the stage. As the night progressed, the bar became crowded. Long lines formed outside as the midnight hour hit.
This is what to expect during Hangar 9’s Karaoke Night every Tuesday, Schatte said.
The music played during the night was mostly pop, while other songs ranged from country to soft rock.
The beer garden was packed, and the second floor gradually filled as the night went along.
Schatte, a self-professed regular at Hangar 9, said most of the people who perform aren’t bad, and some are even professional singers.
Amy Myers, a junior from Athens studying cinema and photography and lead singer for Carbondale band Kid Tiger, is one of those singers.
Myers said she enjoys karaoke singing and has a lot of fun at Hangar 9. Karaoke is what draws her to come out Tuesdays, she said.
Schatle said Tuesday nights used to be dead at the bar. Trivia Night once filled the evening, but it wasn’t enough to draw a crowd, he said.
Sally Carter, co-owner of Hangar 9, said she saw how empty the bar got so she decided to make Tuesdays Karaoke Night every week at the start of the spring semester to draw a bigger audience. Carter said that and dollar drinks have increased attendance.
“It (Karoke Night) attracts a crowd that normally wouldn’t come,” Myers said.
Myers said she would be reluctant to come on Tuesdays if she wasn’t able to perform on stage.
And she isn’t the only one.
Michelle Patzelt, a sophomore from Chicago Heights studying English education, said she probably wouldn’t go to Hangar 9 at all if it didn’t have Karaoke Night.
Patzelt said she enjoys dancing and singing off-key with friends, and that’s what makes the night special.
Myers said she has more fun with karaoke than performing for a band because of the freedom to sing whatever she wants.
While Myers is accustomed to performing on the stage, she said others who sing at Karaoke Night do well too — sometimes.
Part of the excitement is watching participants really get into their performances, she said.
“They’re all good in their own way,” she said. “They’re all entertaining.”