My Melooy

Feel like singing? Pick a song, grab the mic and... show­time!

Waikiki Magazine - - IPLAY - By Ja­son Gene­gabus

Just like the sand and surf, mu­sic is a con­stant pres­ence in Waikiki. From ho­tel restau­rants and lounges to shop­ping cen­ter court­yards and even re­strooms, there is al­ways mu­sic around to pro­vide a sound­track for your time in par­adise.

Mu­si­cal en­ter­tain­ment doesn’t have to be left to the pro­fes­sion­als, how­ever. A num­ber of op­tions in Waikiki ex­ist for those brave enough to pick up a mi­cro­phone and try their luck at singing karaoke.

THE KARAOKE BOX

The term karaoke, or empty orches­tra, was coined by the Ja­panese in the 1970s. While it’s since be­come pop­u­lar in other Asian coun­tries, the Ja­panese are con­sid­ered to have paved the way for karaoke’s rise to world­wide fame.

Lo­cated in the Waikiki Joy Ho­tel, GS Stu­dio is the neigh­bor­hood “karaoke box,” where cus­tomers are able to rent one of 16 rooms of vary­ing size. Par­ties of up to 30 peo­ple are wel­come, with rates rang­ing from $10-$35 per hour dur­ing the week and $15-$45 per hour on Fri­days and Satur­days. An in­ter­com sys­tem al­lows for full bar ser­vice without hav­ing to put down the mi­cro­phone, as well as prompt at­ten­tion from em­ploy­ees if there are any is­sues with the karaoke ma­chines.

With a high con­cen­tra­tion of Ja­panese tourists, it’s no sur­prise GS Stu­dio’s strength lies in Ja­panese song ti­tles. Still, the pri­vate rooms and full bar ser­vice un­til 4 a.m. make it a pop­u­lar late night des­ti­na­tion.

GS Stu­dio | Aqua Waikiki Joy Ho­tel 320 Lew­ers St. [B:7 Waikiki Map] (808) 921-3576 | www.karaoke-gs.com

KARAOKE MEETS ‘CHEERS’

Wang Chung’s is one of the small­est bars—of any type—in Waikiki. But what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for with its friendly, wel­com­ing at­mos­phere and pos­i­tive at­ti­tudes of its em­ploy­ees. If you don’t like mak­ing new friends, it might be best to pick an­other wa­ter­ing hole to sing karaoke at.

The limited real es­tate here means you’ll of­ten be com­pet­ing with reg­u­lars for a seat, but those same folks will of­ten go out of their way to make you feel wel­come, even if it means one of their friends will have to stand around. Got a smart­phone? You can pull up the Wang Chung’s song­book on­line and skip flip­ping through page af­ter page of track list­ings. And while you wait for your turn on the mi­cro­phone, be sure to try the house-made gin­ger beer ($4) or one of the bar’s amaz­ing spe­cialty cock­tails served un­til 2 a.m.

At just $1 per song af­ter 8 p.m. (free from 5 to 8 p.m. daily), singing at Wang Chung’s is like singing karaoke at a house party—and if you don’t know ev­ery­one else in the room when you ar­rive, you will by the end of your visit!

Wang Chung’s | 2410 Koa Ave. [C:9 Waikiki Map] (808) 921-9176 www.wangchungs.com

SHINE ON STAGE

Some karaoke singers need an au­di­ence to wit­ness their per­for­mance. In Waikiki, two op­tions ex­ist for those who want to belt out their fa­vorite tunes on stage.

At the Shore­bird Restau­rant and Beach Bar in the Out­rig­ger Reef on the Beach, karaoke is fea­tured nightly from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. with more than 10,000 songs for cus­tomers to choose from—or bring your own! While a wait­ing list sys­tem is used, there is no charge to sing here. A spe­cial late night food and drink menu is served from 10 p.m. to clos­ing, of­fer­ing items like a Chicago-style hot dog and ham­burger, mahi mahi and kalua pig slid­ers. The Shore­bird even of­fers a live web feed of per­for­mances (http://shore­bird­waikiki.com/events/karaoke).

On the other end of Waikiki, San­sei Seafood Restau­rant & Sushi Bar in the Waikiki Beach Mar­riott Re­sort & Spa has of­fered a late-night happy hour for years. Ev­ery Fri­day from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., the restau­rant of­fers half-off sushi, drink spe­cials and free self-park­ing with no cover charge—and free karaoke!

The lines here on Fri­days are leg­endary, so be sure to show up early for your best chance at scor­ing a seat.

Shore­bird Waikiki | Out­rig­ger Reef on the Beach 2169 Kalia Road [D:7 Waikiki Map] (808) 922-2887 www.shore­bird­waikiki.com

San­sei Seafood Restau­rant & Sushi Bar Waikiki Beach Mar­riott Re­sort & Spa 2552 Kalakaua Ave. [C:11 Waikiki Map] (808) 931-6286 www.san­sei­hawaii.com

THE LO­CALS’ CHOICE

Most peo­ple will pass the Wailana Cof­fee House and never re­al­ize the long-time lo­cal-style 24-hour cof­fee shop is also home to a small lounge. But five nights a week, once the din­ner crowd fades, karaoke takes over.

From 9 p.m. to mid­night (1 a.m. on Fri­days and Satur­days) ev­ery day ex­cept Tues­day and Thurs­day, a mix of lo­cal res­i­dents and part-timers who re­side in nearby con­dos will stop by to sing a few songs. Week­ends are the most pop­u­lar, with plenty of reg­u­lars in the house on Fri­days and Satur­days, in­clud­ing a few who bring their own in­stru­ments to pro­vide live ac­com­pa­ni­ment for singers. Look­ing for a qui­eter night to prac­tice? Try vis­it­ing on Sun­days or Mon­days.

Wailana Cof­fee House Lounge 1860 Ala Moana Blvd. [C:3 Waikiki Map] (808) 955-1764

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