Sing. Sing a song. Sing a song of songs… Other Neil Diamond references. You love to sing. You love to sing in front of people. You love to drink while you sing in front of people because the alcohol lowers your inhibitions and makes your rendition of “I Will Survive” that much more thrilling. Just because you’re away from your local haunt doesn’t mean you can’t get your ‘oke fix. The show must go on after all. And whether you’re entertaining/embarrassing your family, fellow conference goers or just a crowd of strangers, you just have to be a star. Here are some of the best spots to hit the stage around the Las Vegas Strip.
What nights: Every night starting at 9 p.m.
Song choice: “Born to Run” – Bruce Springsteen
It’s a casino and a brewery thrown together in a harmony that not even a boy band could match. No one will judge you if you want to bust out a boy band anthem. But really, this is a bar for something more classic. Ellis Island likes to boast that it’s consistently voted the best karaoke in Las Vegas, and we’re certainly not going to argue. That title does, however, come with some responsibility on the part of the part of the singers. You gotsta bring it. Kick up some classic rock while throwing back some of the best beers in town. And make everyone remember the passion of Springsteen as you pump your fist in the air and fall to your knees singing, “Baby we were born to ru-uh-uh-un.”
What nights: Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 10 p.m.
Song choice: “My Way” – Frank Sinatra
This is one of those hotspots that makes us long for the days of old Vegas. Dino’s has been an institution here since the ’50s. Passing down the family line from Dino himself to son to granddaughters, Dino’s has kept the tradition alive by staying true to what made Vegas great – entertainment. Hosted by the always enjoyable Danny G, Dino’s has a way of bringing the swag. Embrace the glory days and croon with the best of them. Make your mark on the history by belting out the good stuff. If you hang out there long enough, and do enough stumbling versions of “What’s New Pussycat,” you could even become Dino’s Drunk of the Month. Just be sure, whatever you decide to sing, you can say in the morning, “I did it myyyy wayyy.”
Crown and Anchor
What nights: Wednesday at 10 p.m.
Song choice: “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” — The Clash
’Ello you lot. ’Ows ya? It’s a British themed pub that keeps a stiff upper lip and a stiffer drink in yur ’and. And we’re a city in the U.S. so we’re going to stop embarrassing ourselves by trying to write in a cockney accent. Crown and Anchor is a brilliant pub that has a relaxing atmosphere and plenty of drinks. Usually the place to go for watching football (soccer to the rest of us), on Wednesday nights you can watch other people ham it up for attention as they sing their hearts out on stage. But we’re pretty confident none of them will be as good of actors as professional male soccer players. Let out your rowdy rocker with some Billy Idol or embrace your glam with some Bowie. You’ll know the answer before you even get the night started – it’s stay BTW – but you still might sing, “Should I stay or should I go?”
Don’t Tell Mama
What nights: Every night after 8 p.m.
Song choice: “All That Jazz” – Chicago (The Musical)
Swinging and swaying is all the rage at the little sweet spot called Don’t Tell Mama. The fact that it takes such a clever – and totally Vegas – name from the musical “Cabaret” should tell you a lot about this bar. If it doesn’t tell you enough, we’ll say that this spot is a little piece of New York in Downtown Las Vegas and a little piece of hipness in a hipster world. Their karaoke deviates from the norm as much as the bar itself does. With more of an open mic setup, you can ask the live pianist to accompany you on your favorite tune or you can bring your own music and make the house your own. Sing a showstopper. Set the place ablaze with applause. Bring the crowd to its feet as you sing, sway and “Aaaal thaaat jaaaaaaz.”
What nights: Monday, Tuesday at 9 p.m.
Song choice: “Born This Way” – Lady Gaga (Obviously)
A gay bar that has karaoke? Why, we’ve never heard of such a thing. Yeah, that was sarcasm. We’ve actually heard of that a lot. And we also know that FreeZone has some of the best around. The drinks at FreeZone are always cheap but strong. On karaoke nights they also have $10 liquor busts and $5-8 draft beer busts. This is the one place where you should feel completely free to get up on stage, sing your heart out and make a total fool out of yourself – it’s OK, the hottie at the bar thinks it’s adorable. Let your light shine out. Let your rainbow hair down and be as fabulous as you want to be. And if anyone says anything different, just get in their face and sing, “Baby, I was born this way.”
What nights: Tuesday, Wednesday at 8 p.m.
Song choice: “Friends in Low Places” – Garth Brooks
It’s about time we got a little country in our karaoke. Gilley’s at Treasure Island is a classic country bar with all the barbecue, bull riding and line dancing you want in your Las Vegas vacation. You can even take free line dancing lessons if you get here and decide that new dance moves are absolutely the souvenir you need to take home. Honky your tonk and round up your saloon pals, this is some down home karaoke the way only a country bar can do it. We don’t know if they’ll let you sing from atop the mechanical bull, but if you ask just explain to them, “Oh, I’ve got friends in low places.”
PBR Rock Bar / Rockhouse
What nights: Tuesday at 10 p.m. (PBR Rock Bar), Tuesday at 9 p.m. (Rockhouse)
Song choice: “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” – Joan Jett
Are you ready to rock? We said, are you ready to rock? We can’t hear you. Oh, that’s because you’re on the other side of a screen. Plus, we already know you’re ready to rock. So take all that energy to either PBR Rock Bar at the Miracle Mile Shops inside Planet Hollywood or Rockhouse at the Venetian. They’re sister properties and they rock harder than Twisted Sister, Scissor Sisters and Sister Sledge combined. They’ve got drinks specials. Rockhouse has a live band. PBR Rock Bar has costume options. Hit the stage and live out your rock star fantasy. You really don’t need to say anything more to get the crowd motivated. Just stand up and shout, “I love rock ’n’ roll.”
Piano Bar at Harrah’s
What nights: Monday, Tuesday at 6 p.m. and Wednesday at 9 p.m.
Song choice: “Piano Man” – Billy Joel
Here we see the elegance that casinos can produce. A piano bar is the ideal example of what Vegas should be – classy and delightful. The Piano Bar at Harrah’s has the dueling pianos that are so popular amongst bar goers – with twin sisters at the keys. And it’s got all the drinks that are even more popular amongst pretty much everyone. Sing songs that make you feel like the stage is yours alone, and maybe ask the piano to back you up. This is the bar where you’ll get your chance to stand up in front of an audience on the Las Vegas Strip and tell them, “You’ve got me feeling alright.”
Vince Neil’s Tatuado
What nights: Every night at 8:30 p.m.
Song choice: “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” – Poison (for the irony)
It’s Vince Neil’s place. You know it’s got to rock. Take one of the hottest vocalists of the hair metal universe, throw in a stage and a sound system and mix it all up with drink specials and you’ve got a recipe for one hell of a party. And they do this every night of the week. We’re not expecting you to be that metal, but if you are then we salute you. Be loud. Be bitchin. Be whatever member of KISS speaks to you most. We can’t promise that Vince Neil will actually show up to hear you sing. In fact, we’ll say it’s probably pretty unlikely that your paths will cross. But if he does show up and doesn’t like the fact that you picked a Poison song to sing, just look him in the eye and say, “Every cowboy sings a sad, sad song.”
Further from the Strip but still awesome
This whole city is alive with karaoke. We’ve let you in on some of the best bets around the Strip. But if you want to venture a little further into the locals’ terrain, we’ve got more options for you. Karaoke Q Studio, Aces and Ales, The End Bar, X O Karaoke Room, and Stateside Lounge all have great karaoke nights you can check out. And Money Plays has one of the best open mics in all of Vegas. With all the stars in Vegas, shouldn’t you get to feel like one for at least three and half minutes? We think so. So get singing you karaoke kings.