What Is Anti-Karaoke?

Video Retrospectiva 2016 (A.K. Moritz Estreno) from Rachel Arieff on Vimeo.

Anti-Karaoke: much more than just a karaoke. 

Anti-Karaoke is a no-holds-barred party, rock concert, and reality show rolled into one. The brainchild of American expat comedian Rachel Arieff, Anti-Karaoke is a parade of personalities where what counts is not aptitude, but attitude.

In its decade of existence, Anti-Karaoke has attracted thousands of fans from literally all over the world. It’s a staple of Barcelona nightlife, the go-to event for anyone in the know. The press has lauded it. The hospitality industry loves it. It’s a cult favorite amongst musicians, actors, filmmakers and other artistic types, both famous and workaday. But no matter how long it exists, no matter who participates, the A.K. never loses its underground, punk-rock essence.

Where Does Anti-Karaoke Take Place?

The Anti-Karaoke takes place in Barcelona one Saturday a month (upcoming dates: June 11 & July 9th, 2016) from 10 pm to 1 am at the Moritz Brewery, conveniently located at Ronda Sant Antoni, 39-41, in Barcelona’s city center.

What Makes Anti-Karaoke Different?

What makes Anti-Karaoke different than any old karaoke? Well, for starters, it takes place in a real underground rock club, with a state-of-the-art sound system. The song list has over 600 of your favorite rock, pop, metal, punk, old-school rap, and alternative songs to choose from, all high-quality versions that sound like the originals. No crappy MIDI tracks allowed here!

Neither does Anti-Karaoke have the ubiquitous monitors displaying cheesy videos with the lyrics. This may seem counterintuitive to those who frequent karaoke, and that’s exactly the point. Anti-Karaoke puts the spotlight on the performer, not on the technology. Here, we want the audience being entertained by other people, not hypnotized by monitors. Yes, the performers have the lyrics available on a music stand if they need them, but not the audience. It’s a small detail that makes a huge difference.

Under the direction of its creator and mistress of ceremonies, comedian/cabaret artist Rachel Arieff, the Anti-Karaoke is conducted like an actual show. You never get the feeling that you’re in a boring karaoke bar, facing an apathetic crowd of people who are just waiting for their own turn to sing. Wearing over-the-top makeup and dressed in a variety of fetishistic outfits, wisecracking Rachel keeps the rhythm flowing, the audience engaged, and the performers motivated. Plus, she always has a few numbers of her own to contribute — either putting her own spin on a song, or doing one of her outrageous celebrity parodies.

But the standout feature of Anti-Karaoke is the camaraderie. How many times have you been to a karaoke where nearly everyone onstage really gives it their all? How many times have you sang in front of an adoring crowd of strangers from all over the world who sincerely applaud your efforts, no matter what your ability?

As Rachel says, the only sin in Anti-Karaoke is being boring. Thankfully, that almost never happens.

As anyone who’s been there will tell you, Anti-Karaoke is much more than just a karaoke. It’s a night of freaky fun you’ll never forget.

At the moment, Anti-Karaoke is on hiatus, as it left its last home, Sidecar Club, in January of 2016.

Sign up to receive the monthly newsletter and join the official Anti-Karaoke Facebook page for the latest A.K. updates, plus exciting photos and videos from each show.


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