Karaoke From Hell will be coming to the San Dune Pub in Manzanita on Saturday, Aug. 31 from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Karaoke from Hell is a Portland-based live karaoke band. They play while you sing.
They offer a diverse group of songs to choose from. Karaoke From Hell is the original karaoke band, in Oregon for 26 years, and been playing since it was voted Best and First Live Karaoke Band in the World.
“This is our 11th year coming to the San Dune to play the summer holidays, which is the only place we regularly play club shows outside of Portland,” Brian Saunders, a member of the band, said.
Co-founders Dawn Panttaja and Tres Shannon started Karaoke From Hell in 1992. Panttaja thought it would be fun to have the wrong lyrics to songs. Shannon had always wanted a Fat Albert type of band. The band has been performing every Monday night at Dante’s in downtown Portland since 2000, as well as other venues that change from time to time.
“Our band consists of a few rotating members, and we have backup singers with a full band (drums, bass, two guitars, and an MC),” Saunders said. “Our song list consists of 700 songs, spanning genres covering everything from swing to heavy metal.”
Shannon said that karaoke has grown since the band first started in the early 90s. Karaoke is something to do and live karaoke makes it more fun. The band performed around three times a year during their first six years. Getting hired to play every Monday night at Dante’s was huge for them.
Karaoke From Hell plays weddings, funerals, company parties, and more.
“Karaoke brings people together,” Shannon said.
Japanese musician Daisuke Inoue in Kobe, Japan invented the first karaoke machine in 1971, although he didn’t create the name “karaoke”. A Japanese entertaining group created the name after an orchestra went on strike and a machine was used instead to play the music.
Karaoke From Hell is the first live karaoke band in the world. The co-founders are still in the band and have been for 27 years. The band has had some members come and go, but some have been with the band for over 10 years.
Shannon said that having a live karaoke band breaks down the fourth wall: the audience. The band brings a stranger up to the stage. They often have people who are nervous and have never sang karaoke in public before. After they play, the stranger says that it was the greatest thing in the world.
The band doesn’t know what song they will play until the singer from the audience picks. The band can slow down or speed up, depending on how fast the singer is singing.
“We may not have played the song in two years,” Shannon said.
Karaoke From Hell loves playing at the San Dune and the venue is one of their favorites. They often play during Labor Day, Fourth of July, New Years, etc. They also play at Dante every Monday night and the Spare Room once a month.