When I walked into Woody’s Tavern at the Ohio Union for Karaoke Night, a biweekly event hosted by the Ohio Union Activity Board, I anticipated an evening filled with sub-par singing and awkward laughs. Instead the night featured talented performances, hilarious choreography and a fun-spirited environment.
The first person to step to the stage was Katie Leach, a third-year in human development and family science. There was an almost tangible amount of tension among the crowd of about 50 as they watched Leach nervously open with Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie.”
While Leach settled into the song, so did the audience. No one paid much attention to a missed lyric or an off-pitch note. From that point forward everyone was relaxed and ready to have a great time.
As a member of Ohio State’s a cappella group, Key of Gee, Leach set the bar high for other singers with their well-sung performances early in the night.
Georgia Efthimiopoulos, a second-year graduate student in chemistry, said when she saw a flier for Karaoke Night, she decided to come in for a good laugh.
“I am a little disappointed that these people are good,” Efthimiopoulos said.
Though the night featured several performances from Key of Gee members, the highlight of the evening likely came from the inexperienced, and slightly off-pitch karaoke duo of Dan Miller and Brendan Kelly, who performed under the stage name of D-Money and the Cat Daddy.
Miller and Kelly’s rendition of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” featured comical choreography, overemphasized falsetto and personal serenades for members in the crowd. When the duo used a chair while singing the chorus to reenact the scene from the movie “Titanic,” where Jack holds Rose at the bow of the ship with her arms extended, Woody’s Tavern erupted with laughter, applause and cat calls.
Miller, a third-year in geography, said they choreographed some of their act, including the fan-favorite chair scene, but they improvised most of their performance while on stage.
“If you are willing to listen, the stage tells you what to do,” Kelly said.
Miller and Kelly’s performance was one of many enthusiastic acts that captured the true spirit of Karaoke Night.
Billy Brown, a first-year in exploration and OUAB staff member, said Karaoke Night provides an opportunity for students to break out of their shells and do something out of their comfort zone.
“It takes some courage to go up there,” Brown said. “But when you are up there, you can kind of let loose and get ready for the weekend.”
For Key of Gee members, the event provided a change of pace from their usual performances, an environment where they could sing without being judged.
For those who couldn’t find the courage to get on stage, the night still provided plenty of entertainment.
Griffin Lahre, a first-year in marketing, came to Woody’s Tavern for dinner unaware of the event. He said that when he realized karaoke would be taking place during his meal, he had expectations similar to mine.
“I expected awful music, and these people are pretty good,” Lahre said. “The performances were all enjoyable to watch. It’s been a fun time.”