Having decided to embark upon my mission – 22 days of karaoke in a row! – I was determined to go out Sunday, June 9th. However, I didn’t have anyone to go with me. Once again solo. Suze was imploring me to wait until Monday, to just wait one more day, so she could join me. No, the quest had begun and I was doing this thing. Yes.
I should note that Suze has been on the journey with me every day since, and so deserves ample recognition. I may be on Day 14 (as of this post, June 21st), but that means she’s on Day 12! and still going strong! I really value her friendship and her partnership on this mission. Doing the rest of it together has really been the key to success. Thanks, Suze!
I knew Rocke – the KJ at Bliss / Rebar – from our previous karaoke outings, so I knew I wouldn’t really feel lonely if I went to Bliss this warm Sunday night. Rocke puts on a good show, and Bliss / Rebar is a fine establishment. Rocke has a strong, soaring, sweet tenor voice, and sings wonderfully, especially in his high register. One of the pleasures of karaoke is hearing the KJs sing, and getting to know them. Rocke has been really supportive of this 22 day venture, and I was glad to spend some time with him that evening.
I arrived a little early, about 8:30 – karaoke begins at 9 pm on Sundays at Bliss. So I chatted with Rocke a bit, and ordered a salad and a drink. I would encourage you to always patronize the establishment at which you sing karaoke. Also, in addition to tipping the servers and barkeeps, please remember to tip the KJs too. They usually have a tip jar somewhere near their sound consoles. (As I write this, I recall I failed to tip Rocke…whoops! So sorry, Rocke!) There are also usually good drink specials during karaoke, and some of the food out there is amazing. Especially at Bliss / Rebar.
Bliss / Rebar is really one business split into two. The two buildings are connected and share a kitchen, but they each have their own entrance. Rebar, I believe, is the bar part of the business, as it is decorated spectacularly with rebar sculptures above. It is a bar with a few tables, a wide open patio, and the food is from the sister restaurant Bliss. Bliss is known for excellent food, and it’s true. So if you’re coming down for karaoke on a Sunday night at Rebar, bring an appetite, and enjoy something tasty from Bliss.
Bliss / Rebar is reputed to be a gay bar/restaurant, but like most “gay” places in the Phoenix area is very “straight friendly”. The few times I’ve been to the Rebar part of Bliss / Rebar, there has been a very mixed crowd. It is located near the Phoenix Theater, and as such gets a lot of “theater people” coming over after a show. It’s also located right in the heart of the artsy Roosevelt district. Very vital community connections. I highly recommend you check it out.
As far as karaoke goes at Bliss / Rebar, well there are a few distractions. It’s sometimes difficult to find a place to stand in order to see the monitors clearly. The place can be crowded, for one. But even when it isn’t, it’s a challenge. The place where I usually find to stand, so I can see the monitor while I sing, is either smashed up by the bar, or right in the path of servers passing from the bar to the kitchen. It’s also right near the restroom door. Hm. Frustrating. So, why do I choose to stand there? I can’t see the other monitor clearly (my poor aging eyes!), and there are tables of people everywhere in this small-ish place.
I do realize that many karaoke singers like to just sit at their seats and sing. But I like to stand, preferably facing people, as if they are my audience. Whether they pay attention or not, I can’t control. And I like to have a wide berth, just a few feet to the front or side – to sway or strut if possible, but especially, to move my microphone. Those who have heard me sing know that I need to be able to draw the microphone away from my face, when I get very loud. It’s just the truth. I cannot lie.
Speaking of honesty, I’m finding through this blog process, that I do fear criticizing others too harshly, mostly because as we go about town, we meet a lot of people. And almost everyone is so friendly, and genuinely supportive. However, parts of my blog will be to share not just the ups, but the downs of the karaoke experiences that ensue during our adventures. I like to highlight the joy, the love, the camaraderie, the music – but must, how do the young folk say? keep it real. Which means in short my reality, my perceptions…i.e. it’s a blog, folks.
That said, people milling about, so closely, while I sing, is not the best experience for me. Having difficultly seeing the monitors is not ideal. What I do hope is that Bliss / Rebar would do something about the placement of the monitors, or somehow clear a swath of no-walking “stagey” kind of space. Just sayin’.
Despite all this, singing with Rocke is a blast. We sang a duet, of course, as I must fulfill this obligation each night. We sang the Pink song featuring Nate Ruess (of FUN), Just Give me a Reason. I also sang Jar of Hearts, and I think that’s it. Done and done. The dancing part of the rules had not come into play yet. However, there were a few other singers, doing some awesome songs, and I cheered and enjoyed as usual. Had a fine, albeit brief, time.
Stay tuned for more karaoke-dokey!
And thanks for those of you that are leaving comments and/or following.