Singing with Heart


Last Friday night I attended our monthly Karaoke Night at our usual spot. Sadly, not all of the usual former coworkers could make it as they had prior engagements. It’s easy to see why with the holidays now upon us.

To summarize, here’s the list of songs I “sang”:

  • Tainted Love by Soft Cell. Always a favorite.
  • Precious by Depeche Mode. A song about the effects of divorce on children.
  • Break Stuff by Limp Bizkit. I uh…I’d rather not talk about why I didn’t have to look at the screen for the lyrics. I knew them. Look, let’s not discuss this, okay?

I have videos but there’s a reason why I linked to the original songs. Don’t expect them to ever be seen.

BlossomDespite there not being a lot of former coworkers, the place was packed as there was someone there with a group of friends celebrating a birthday. Among the large group was what I presumed to be a sprinkle of hipsters—they can be spotted miles away without binoculars—who looked out of place with the rest. Meh, no biggie. I’m no pillar of fashion myself.

I noticed that one of them signed up to sing.

Eventually, this female hipster got her turn on stage. When she stepped up I thought to myself, “Oh, this ought to be good.”

She was dressed like Blossom (almost EXACTLY like the photo above) and wearing white horn-rimmed glasses. She took the mic and stood stoically on the stage as the following song started to play.

There she stood staring straight at the lyric screen on the left of the stage, looking as if she was dared to sing a song but her introversion was getting the best of her and she was having second thoughts. Absolutely no body movement from her.

The piano intro led up to the vocals and she started to sing.

I hear the ticking of the clock
I’m lying here, the room’s pitch dark

Not bad, I thought. She must have had some kind of training.

I wonder where you are tonight
No answer on the telephone

Well, she’s better than the regular we call The Pilipino Elvis, that’s for sure. I’ve always liked this tune and she was doing it justice.

And the night goes by so very slow
I hope that it won’t end, though
Alone

Okay, enough of the quite stuff. Let’s see how well she can pull off Ann Wilson’s amazing voice. Not a chance in Hell, I thought.

Still standing in the same place, holding the mic in the same position and staring at the lyric monitor, she starts to sing the next line.

And this was pretty much how the entire room looked when it happened.

Woah...

Blown. Away. Totally and completely blown away. The crowd started to cheer her on. This unassuming girl with the goofy flowered hat had pipes in her that you would have not believed. If there was a competition it would have been over at this point and they would have sent us all home. No contest. None whatsoever. She had won.

She continued to belt out the song it was note-for-note, dead-on to the original. Now I know you won’t see the best talent at a karaoke bar but now and then that one person comes along and simply takes it to another level. On Friday night, it was this girl. Even the high notes – she hit the bull’s eye.

She sang the last line of the song and the piano outro began. Before it ended, the entire bar was clapping and screaming with wild abandon at what they had just witnessed. She gave a little curtsey, looked straight to the ground, and walked back to her table with the crowd still cheering. Amazing.

I normally don’t feel embarrassed when I do karaoke. I don’t drink so I take the stage with 100% confidence regardless of how I may or may not pull off the song. But last Friday night? She made all of us look stupid.

I got to thinking about her performance on the way home. Her outfit was so hideously bad and I’d wager to say that her hair was a wig and the glasses were not prescription. Could we have witnessed an honest-to-goodness celebrity singer? I honestly couldn’t tell you who she might have been since I’m not up-to-date with today’s hot acts but all things considered, she sang way too well to just be someone who was celebrating a friend’s birthday. I’ve seen some good singers there but her? Another planet completely.

Whoever she was, she nailed it.

As for me, well, Fred Durst probably has nothing to worry about.

Fred

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