This week I started thinking about what makes a “good” performance. Is it singing a popular song? Having a refined voice? Knowing the lyrics by heart? Singing without mistakes? Choreography? Costumes? Good pronunciation? The truth is that for everyone, there’s a different answer. Above all, I think you’ll agree with me, the performer has to give us a little piece of him/herself. They need to transmit some of their personality, attitude or feelings. This Monday, April 25th was both a star-studded night and a night of debuts. We saw many good performances and others that, at the very least, had their own charm.
Our hostess, cheerleader and confetti-thrower, Rachel, was the first star to shine on the Apolo 2 stage with Garbage’s “Queer”. To lift the mood and raise the temperature in the club a little, she sang the Rolling Stones’ “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and yielded the stage to the next performer.
One of the most pleasant surprises of the night was seeing Rocko, Roser, Txus, Laia & Rocksales on stage together with the name Bitch Boys. It seemed like summer had already arrived at Anti-Karaoke and the best song to welcome it was “California Girls”. Dressed to enjoy their vacation, with piña coladas in hand, Rocko & co. brought us to the beach with a stupendous version of the song. It was incredibly fun.
Patricia Romera, one of the most impressive newcomers this night, debuted with an exceptional “Show Must Go On”. She’s a natural on the stage and she has an excellent voice. It’s also impressive that she got up to sing for the first time without the lyrics, something few singers attempt even after many performances.
Another woman we love to see on the stage is Nur’n’Roses. When she doesn’t come to Anti-Karaoke, there’s an empty space in the front row and in the show in general. This night, she delighted us with a fantastic “Whole Lotta Rosie”.
Deskiziado Boro made his punk Anti-Karaokean debut a few months ago and left us excited to see more. He came back this week and gave us a completely crazy “Born To Be Wild”.
Minna sang for the second time at A.K. with one of Janis Joplin’s most difficult songs: “Me & Bobby McGee”. Joplin fans in the club were happy to hear a version so true to the original. Good job.
Kenta conquered the whole club with a lethal “Enter Sandman”. It was impressive to see 300 hands in the air at the same time.
In the first half of the show, Rachel taught us a little German with an infernal “Du Hast”.
Jen was one of the big stars of the evening with the most visceral “Break Stuff” we’ve heard in months. It was pure fire.
Austin & Marisa, a fun duo, debuted with Milwaukee’s most famous band’s greatest hit: Violent Femmes’ “Blister in the Sun”. Rachel, our favorite Milwaukeean was there to help with the intro and get the crowd going, as always.
Mike, new Anti-Karaokean star, made us all yell “More! More! More!” with a savage “Rebel Yell”. Congratulations. You’ve completely won us over.
Andy starred in his big come back with Elvis’ “Burning Love”. We missed him…one of our favorite A.K. crooners. The nights he comes to the show, he always brings something special.
In true form, Duro de Oído drove the crowd crazy with a song from the king of mumbling, Eddie Vedder; “Spin the Black Circle”.
Speaking of crazy performances, we have to mention a newcomer named Gabriel R who sang one of the most irreverent songs in the repertoire: Dead Kennedys’ “Too Drunk To Fuck”. The song is short but it doesn’t let you stop for even a second. Gabriel wasn’t too drunk to sing it this night with a lot of energy and attitude.
In a drastically different register, Solo, romantic ballad specialist, seduced the crowd with Urge Overkill’s “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon”. One day, I’d like to hear that refined voice put to use with a rock song. You’ve got the rock inside you; don’t be afraid, let it out.
The first half of the show came to an end with “New York, New York”, provided by Rachel, armed with her bottle of Jack Daniels. This marked a turning point in an incredible night.
Joe Balls debuted this night with a song we haven’t heard in months: Drowning Pool’s “Bodies”. He brought a ton of attitude.
Another newcomer, Luis, gave it all with Guns N’Roses’ “You Could Be Mine”. He couldn’t have been more invested in his performance.
A-Ha’s “Take On Me” is one of the most popular songs at A.K. This night, Candybars & Clint Eastwood did a duet with this greatest hit.
Prades performed a very powerful “Mother” by Danzig. I would love to hear this song more often at the show. It reminds me of the good days of MTV, before the got involved with reality shows.
Lady Peonza sang Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On”. At first, it seemed like she lacked confidence in herself but she trusted in the crowed and it turned out fine. There are few performers who can do justice to Robert Plant the way she did this night.
Bon Jovi’s songs are always a hit at A.K. This night was no exception. Two giggling girls, Lexi Kellison & Bly the Butler sang “Living on a Prayer”, one of the hit songs from their biggest album, “Slippery When Wet”.
Xavi “The Chest” Dimoni sang a beautiful “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. More than one person present was disappointed at his chest’s absence this night. Even so, we couldn’t help falling in love with him.
Oscarzombie, always the romantic, interpreted Buckcherry’s “Crazy Bitch”. At this moment, I imagine everyone in the crowd was thinking about someone special in their lives.
José Maria found his register with The Doors’ “People Are Strange”.
Rachel covered the people in the first few rows with whipped cream and performed a revved up “Highway to Hell”. Whipped cream melts fast in hell.
B.Y.O.B. has to be the most difficult song in the A.K. repertoire. Only the brave attempt to sing it. The guys who wrote this song (System Of A Down) must have been crazy…or maybe they’re geniuses, two things that often go hand in hand. Lion King sang it this evening and impressed us once again.
Another System Of A Down song: “Chop Suey!” never sounded so melodic as when Gerard sang it this night.
Powerpuff Ale came back to the show after a few weeks’ absence and sang a lovely “Don’t Look Back in Anger”. We were happy to see her again on the Apolo stage.
I don’t like to say “I told you so” but…”Ice Ice Baby” claimed another life. Egyptian Ice kept it going with the help of the audience. It’s a good lesson: If you get lost in a song, which happens a lot, you can always count on someone in the crowd to guide you.
Mr. Eddie Harris sang a special version of Quiet Riot’s “Cum On Feel the Noize”.
Iván starred in one of the high points in the night with Foo Fighters’ “The Pretender”.
To pay homage to any Native Americans in the club, Rachel and her famous feathered headdress sang “Song 2”.
In the final stretch, 1 and Half Tons of Metal sang a powerful “Breaking the Law”.
Fabri, with the help of his friends, assailed the stage and our ears with a biting “Killing In The Name”.
To end an unbeatable night, Rachel sang “Kids in America” and said goodbye to us until next Monday.
I want to pose a question to all of you: In your opinion, what are the elements that make a good performance? Leave me a comment below.
The special Anti-Karaoke session is approaching. It’s Saturday, May 28th and after A.K., we can stay in the club for the DJ’s rock set.
Remember the dates:
Monday, May 2nd
Monday, May 9th
Monday, May 16th
*Saturday, May 28th
…and every Monday after.
We’ll be here at Apolo 2 every Monday all summer, including in August.
Next Monday will be another night full of great performances. Don’t miss it. We’ll see you there.