Karaoke nights in Lebanon

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I was invited to dinner on Saturday night at a place called “Le Pacha” in Amchit. It’s a seafood place right next to the famous (yet highly overrated and overpriced in my opinion) “Chez Zakhia”.

We sat down and start ordering before some woman took the mic and welcomed everyone to the Karaoke night! I wasn’t informed that there will be Karaoke as I usually stay away from such nights, but I said what the heck! How bad could the singing be?

Well it turned out to be pretty bad, at some points even terrible and I noticed almost the same trends I see in most Karoake nights in Lebanon:

1- There’s always a couple of semi-professional singers who want to impress the girls with their charming voice. They come prepared and well dressed as if it’s some sort of competition or maybe just “la yichedo banet”. Doesn’t that beat the whole purpose of Karaoke nights?

2- Many Lebanese think they are so damn talented and request songs that are almost impossible to sing. Some dude requested Bohemian Rhapsody and I only wish I recorded it for you guys to hear the horror! In some countries, you might get shot for doing that. [Link]

3- There’s always a girl who wants to put up a show by taking the mic, going on stage and dance like a stripper. Maybe this is how new artists are recruited in this country?

4- Some guys think of themselves as the Wassouf or Melhem Baraket and get in the mood to the extent of walking among tables while singing.

5- Some people are too cool to stop smoking the arguile while singing.

I am not a big fan of Karaoke nights in the first place, but what happened to just going out with friends, having a few beers and singing acceptable tunes without putting up a show or dancing for everyone to see?

17 thoughts on “Karaoke nights in Lebanon

  1. Mark

    Dude karaoke is supposed to be something fun you do. you dont have to be good at it. just drink and relax and stop spending all your time criticizing people. let everyone have fun. this post just reminded me of some amazing karaoke nights at equinox. everything thursday night (or was it tuesday night) was karaoke night and everyone from LAU jbeil would be there. you come, u drink, you make a fool out of yourself and you come home. no one judges anyone else.

    Reply
  2. Najib Post author

    Mark,
    Karaoke is exactly what you just said and how I perceive it, but it’s not fun when people got dressed up for it and steal the show or just want to show off.

    I’ve had some fun Karaoke nights with friends too and even dared to sing once maybe because I was too drunk but it’s turning into a contest nowadays and it’s not fun.

    Reply
  3. Najib Post author

    Well there’s a lot to complain about here but there are some very cheerful things to post about as well.

    The dinner I went to on Sunday night was very cool and entertaining. It’s all about where you go :-)

    Ba3den ya Mark, when you are enjoying your time, you drunk too much and forget about what happened, but when its a bad time, you notice too many details and cant help not post.

    PS: Their Almaza was not cold at all, so I was unable to drink many to try and enjoy my time :P

    Reply
  4. Mark

    Almaza not cold is a good excuse lol

    If you go down to jounieh from il nazleh next to Bar Estidrete, take a right and go straight. Pass the gas station on your left and go straight at the intersection. then at one point maybe 50 meteres down there is a left hand turn, you take and equinox used to be on your right over there. I think.. keep in mind haven’t been there since the late 90s.

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  5. Najib Post author

    It’s the perfect excuse. Can’t believe how bad Almaza tastes if its not cold. It just doesn’t work!

    I think my friend had a shop there at some point (maybe where Equinox was). I know exactly which building you are talking about lol, its a 2 minutes walk from my house!

    Reply
  6. didielb

    lol @ n°5
    but seriously i can’t understand all this fuss about karaoke in lebanon. in france, it’s considered as a pretty lame activity and u won’t see people under 40 doing it…

    Reply
  7. Ronman

    Mark you just got on my bad side, were you part of the groups from LAU that practically killed Karaoke night at Equinox… LOL… no hard feelings though, but until 97, Thursday night was a sacred night for many karaoke fans at Equinox (the longest living night club with the same management in Lebanon 77-99 btw)

    before the 98-99 downfall, the people and level of singing on Thursday night was very good, i was a regular from 95 to 98-99, those two years the MC changed and the regulars just stopped coming, i used to tag along with regulars that never missed a Thursday in the whole 8-9 years of Karaoke night, but even in its end of days, it was a thousand times better, i remember Ghassan Rahbani used to show up with his crew and sing Smoke on the water among other rock songs, there was a guy that had My Way reserved for him every freaking week, he was a taxi driver on a mint condition 67 S-Class pretty snazzy, another girl used to turn up a great Mustang Sally…really nice ambiance.

    as for, [Karaoke is for fun], as you might know, Karaoke is Japanese for ‘lets sing’, but it also could mean, ” asshole with a microphone” depends how you look at it, however I used to enjoy attending Karoaoke nights just to poke fun at the strangled cats…I regularly did one song, and would goof around with friends on Bohemian rhapsody, but it would be more of our own version rather than thinking we nailed Freddy Mercury’s pitch….we were huge Queen fans…still are.

    it’s fun, but it can get annoying….however if ever on a Karaoke night that isn’t planned like Najib, have a few drinks, ask for, “who let the dogs out”, and dedicated to those who think they can sing….that’s what I’ve done many times…oh the hilarity, and i never gotten my ass kicked…

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  8. Ronman

    As for Najib’s rants, i have yet to disagree, this country is full of rant material… you don’t want me on your Blog crew…

    Reply
  9. Mark

    Ronman: what are you talking about… we MADE karaoke night at Equinox lol I don’t remember much of my time there. Used to just get so wasted I have no clue what Iused to do. I do remember my favorite songs I would sing with my friends back then

    Tubthumping by Chumbawamba
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kS-zK1S5Dws

    Born Slippy by Underworld
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kug0xzw2ii4

    Girls & Boys by Blur
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDswiT87oo8

    and my favorite

    Rape Me by Nirvana
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ync1u2Qw5c8

    I think I completely massacred each and everyone of these songs beyond recognition but it didn’t matter cuz everyone was too drunk to even realize lol

    Reply
  10. Alf

    You forgot to mention that in every Karaoke night we have to listen to “My Way” and “I will survive”, oh and Hotel California!

    These 3 songs are a must!

    Reply
  11. Wael

    Man .. did you notice that u keep criticising things as if you are better than those people..

    Simply those people in this karaoke night have their own “jaw” if u want .. and its not about u to say if this is good or not .. because in general they are happy with what they do .. If you really feel uncomfortable to go there .. just don’t.. coz they will stay and sing all the night with or without ur presence..

    Reply

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