Dec 20, 2018

Local Karaoke Event Listings

By Joanne Colella

Karaoke in NJ New Jersey Middletown Central

Some people are content to sit back and take in the show from their seat in the front row. Others, however, take more delight in being onstage and in the spotlight. For those who want their 15 minutes of fame – and for those who enjoy listening to what is often a wide range of talent and participating in a whole lot of fun – there is the wildly popular form of entertainment known as Karaoke Night. In this busy season of Christmas carols and other holiday sing-alongs, perhaps you’d like to take a breather and spend some time unwinding at one of the area’s karaoke venues, where all are invited to lend an ear – or lend their voice!

Karaoke, for the uninitiated, is an Asian-based form of musical entertainment where an amateur singer, on a microphone, sings along to recorded music or a music video, with highlighted lyrics on a screen following along with the instrumental version of a popular song. With today’s online capabilities, musical selections can run into the thousands of titles, with songs of every genre, so you never know what you’ll hear from night to night or performer to performer.

In-home karaoke machines are easy to find – and may even find their way onto holiday gift lists – but it is the public karaoke nights at clubs, lounges, bars, and restaurants with professional equipment that bring out appreciative audiences and sometimes surprisingly talented performers who seek to be discovered or simply sing for the joy of it. For those who cannot even carry a tune in their pocket, the brave – and occasionally tipsy – souls who nonetheless take the microphone can provide some cringe-worthy camaraderie.

For organizations both large and small, karaoke events make unique social and fundraising opportunities, also. One such longstanding event is the annual Caring with Karaoke fundraiser hosted by the Monmouth Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals Group, who will hold their 12th annual event in March 2019 at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park. Each year, proceeds go to support charitable agencies that provide services in Monmouth County.

In the Jersey shore area, karaoke nights tend to ramp up in the off season, when summer crowds that fill beachside bars and eateries to capacity have dispersed and locals come out to have different kinds of fun while hunkering down indoors for the cold weather months. Along with all the singing-along, there are usually tempting specials on dining and drinks, often with themes like Taco Tuesdays or Wine Wednesdays, plus professional DJ entertainment. Karaoke contests offer prizes and there is a devoted following of singers and spectators who make a point of turning out for the regularly scheduled dates. Karaoke nights help support these local establishments, most of whom allow patrons to sing for free but bring in revenue by food and beverage sales to the singers and their audiences. Occasionally, some venues may charge a small fee for the chance to perform.

Impromptu karaoke events pop up all the time, but here is a listing of just some of the area establishments where they are regularly held on a weekly or monthly basis; be sure to check for any updated schedules. Cheers!

American Legion #143 in Highlands – Saturdays from 8 pm

Bahrs Landing in Highlands – Fridays from 9 pm to 12 am

Bart’s Restaurant in Matawan – Fridays at 8 pm

Donovan’s Reef in Sea Bright – Thursdays from 9 pm to 12 am

Gateway Bar & Liquors in Atlantic Highlands – Saturdays from 8 pm to 12 am

Maggie’s Bar & Grill in Lakewood – Sundays at 9:30 pm

McCann’s at the Meadow in Farmingdale – Thursdays from 7 to 10 pm

McDonagh’s Pub in Keyport – Tuesdays from 8 to 11 pm

MJ’s at Buttonwood Manor in Matawan – Wednesdays from 8 pm to 12 am

MJ’s Bar & Grill in Bayville – Tuesdays from 8 to 11 pm

MJ’s Pizza Bar & Grill in Middletown – Thursdays from 8 to 11 pm

MJ’s Pizza Bar & Grill in Spotswood – Thursdays from 8:30 pm to 12 am

Olde Village Pub & Liquors in Middletown – Tuesdays from 7 to 10 pm

Paul’s Tavern in Lake Como – Tuesdays from 7 to 11 pm

Plumsted Grill in Cream Ridge – Fridays from 9:30 pm to 1:30 am

T.G.I.Fridays in Old Bridge – Saturdays from 10 pm to 1 am

The Marina at Oceanport – check their website or Facebook page for dates

The Roadhouse in Sayreville – Wednesdays from 9:30 pm to 1:30 am

The Salty Whale in Manasquan – Wednesdays from 7:30 pm

The Soundbooth at The Asbury Hotel in Asbury Park – first and third Mondays from 8 to 11 pm

The Wine Loft Pier Village in Long Branch – Tuesdays from 8 pm to 12 am

Union Plaza Bar & Liquors in Hazlet – Fridays from 9:30 pm to 1:30 am