Have you ever been to a piano bar? I have. Twice. And that was all the experience I needed to realize that they are very fun and also potentially very embarrassing. If you are shy and hate people looking at you, let alone laughing at you, do not go. You will spend the whole time shivering in a corner, hoping and praying to the real God that the piano gods do not ensnare you in their terrible plots heartless cruelty.
Actually, you should be safe as long as your "friends" do not conspire to drag you to the front and make you fodder for a piano-wielding comic.
Luckily, I am not shy and I do not have annoying "friends." So, I was able to enjoy my piano bar experience just the way I like to - singing loud and obnoxiously from the "privacy" of my own table.
A while ago, Tanner and I met up with one of my best friends Jenni and her husband, Dr. Ryan Daniels. They were in town because Ryan had a veterinary conference to attend. Also, Jenni and her sister, Michelle, and her mom, Mrs. Dickson, all have their birthdays close to the same time. It was a mass-celebration thing, with a little hamster anatomy and canine dentistry thrown.
We met up with the Dicksons/Daniels to crash their birthday dinner and ended up getting roped into going to Pete's Piano Bar in downtown Fort Worth. It took all of 13 seconds to persuade us. Getting to stay in a swanky downtown hotel with Jenni and Ryan sealed the deal.
At a dueling piano bar, two really good pianists, who were destined to be rockstars but mistakenly ended up at Pete's, take all kinds of requests and wage in mock competitions with a correspondingly illogical running point tallies. It sounds dumb, but it's actually really fun. People write all kinds of song requests on little slips of paper. Some are just awesome, or really bad, song requests, while some are song requests that involve a person in attendance - usually a bachelorette or bachelor or birthday girl or unsuspecting and confused older, tipsy aunt who thought she was going to a country Western bar. The poor smuck has to go up to the front and sit on a stool and be sung about, or sing along or do any number of other silly things. It's very funny for the people watching. And most of the people up front don't seem to mind either. It doesn't hurt that they have cocktails. So how do you get your song selected from all the other requests? There is cash money attached to the song requests. DUH.
The best part of piano bars is that awesomely good and bad, new and old, are played and its totally accepted to sing along as loud as possible at the top of your lungs, even though SOME people, ahem, singing along have no talent/are tone deaf/sing like Cameron Diaz in My Best Friend's Wedding but without the cute, blonde, skinny factor.
I've decided that despite not having any musical talent and being arguably the worst singer in the world, I am going to become a piano bar performer. At one point, the bar got into a University of Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech (they were included for pity) battle with fans of all the schools vying to get their fight songs played. The cash was literally cascading over the pianos.
So, you can find me Friday nights playing the in the waiting area at the Applebees in Weatherford.