Culture Column: If you’ve been thinking about karaoke, just duet!

October 4, 2022

When thinking about karaoke, most people tend to have the impression that you have to be a good singer in order to have fun or else what you’re doing is embarrassing. However, that is simply not the case. 

Most of the time karaoke is fun no matter how good – or bad – you are at it. This misconception is why it can be so nerve-wracking. The Daily Egyptian decided to take you along for a night of karaoke to show you it’s not so bad. And at Hangar 9, they have karaoke every Thursday at 9:30 p.m. 

Karaoke at Hangar 9 has become a time honored tradition, especially because the bar has been doing it for over 10 years now so there has been many people who have come across the Hangar stage. 

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To get a good perspective on just how much karaoke affects the community we went straight to the source and asked Hanger 9’s entertainment director Blake Bledsoe for his opinion.

I think any sort of recurring event that can bring people from all walks of life together helps to create a sense of community,” he said. “Karaoke does this well because everyone who attends has a common connection of loving music, singing, etc. and people often find that they are able to create connections with people they may not have had a chance to in other aspects of their life.” 

Bledsoe also said karaoke is something that can be fun for everyone and that combined with drink specials, and a relaxed atmosphere help to make it a night where everyone can feel comfortable and have a good time. 

“Musically speaking we have access to 45,000+ songs so there is also something for everyone there,” he said. “I’ve seen everything from R&B, rock, showtunes, country, and jazz standards all in one night.” 

There is a clear sense of community with a diverse demographic. By having this environment, it feels easy to get to know people and feel welcome, because no matter your age or music taste you are bound to find someone with something in common. 

Everyone we talked to was friendly and supportive. You could feel everybody there is just as nervous as you and probably has just as much talent level so nobody really cared about how well they were singing or if they were perfectly in tune. They just wanted to have some fun with friends and sing their favorite songs. 

Although the environment is kind, it can still be somewhat nerve wracking to get up on stage so we went to the experts, the regulars at Hangar 9 karaoke and asked their advice for a newbie in the karaoke world. 

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“Just do it because after the first time you perform and get all your nerves out by the end of the song you can barely even remember how nervous you were in the first place,” Erin Shukis said.

Charlie Rogan weighed in, “If you’re nervous my best advice is come early, sign up for a late spot and have a few drinks.”

Alec Green said, “Play songs that people know. It helps everyone get more into the performance if they also know the lyrics.” 

Marshall Anderson added, “Nobody is a professional. Just go out there and have fun.” 

Ed Sorrels, who sings under the name Speaker Boy, said, “Bring a friend, it’s always nice to have guaranteed support.” 

Bledsoe said participants have nothing to lose or gain.

It’s simply a great way to have fun, meet new people, and enjoy a new and different experience,” he said. “In short.. bring a friend, grab a beer, and hit the stage! You might just find your new favorite way to pass a Thursday night!” 

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