PART ONE: Karaoke gains popularity in Bangor

Published: Feb. 27, 2019 at 6:19 PM EST
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Bolstered by hit TV shows, singing has captured the attention of many people across America.

In Bangor, it's no different. Every night, there's a place where you can channel your inner rockstar at your local karaoke bar.

Rich, a karaoke participant, said, "My belief is when you got on the road and you're in your vehicle and everyone sings and you always think you sound like something if you really sound like that one person you probably do sound like them."

It's that type of enthusiasm or this type. Brandon, a Bangor resident, said, "Terrible. Everyone is terrible but, we support our people."

That makes for one interesting karaoke night. It's becoming really popular in Bangor. Every night, there's a spot in the town where you can sing your heart out.

Marissa Lopez, karaoke hostess of Ipanema Bar & Grill said, "'I have a philosophy on karaoke. It doesn't matter how good you sing. It doesn't matter how badly you sing, as long as you're having fun, you're going to be awesome."

Meet Marissa Lopez, the karaoke hostess at Ipanema Bar & Grill on Thursday nights. Her set up is muscle memory. She's been a hostess in downtown Bangor for 10 years. "A lot of people are being introduced to karaoke because of TV shows likes James Corden. They think it's fun singing in the car, everybody does that. They see things like American Idol and The Voice. They want to emulate that as well," Lopez adds.

And she knows how to get the crowd going. Lopez said, "What's Up" by 4 Non Blondes people love to sing along to that song. Or, "Don't Stop Believing" can get people singing. "Bohemian Rhapsody," every time, every time! That is the classic go-to karaoke song!"

But, when Thursday has come and gone, where do you go for more popular songs? Easy, across the street.

Christine, Bangor Resident, said, "I come here every Monday. It's a wonderful place you can sing any song you want."

Dave Roche, Karaoke Host at Paddy Murphy's said, "Here's a place where you can sing. You can test your skills, you can have fun. That's the point of doing it."

At Paddy Murphy's, you'll find karaoke host Dave Roche. Roche said, "Music is a passion that a lot of people don't get to pursue because it doesn't help them. They can't sustain their normal life off of it. So, when you find the outlets like this where you are able to it's nice to pick them up."

Sources say globally the karaoke market is estimated to be worth around 10 billion and locally, dollars are flowing in.

Karyn Young, Co-owner of Ipanema Bar & Grill, said, "You can have a slow Friday. You could have a really busy Friday. But, when people know we have karaoke every Thursday, it's always a consistent good crowd."

Roche explained, "Our Monday nights, we have a lot of regular people that come in. It's good that there are places that offer it down here."

"You do a lot of karaoke at different places, so what makes each place so unique? Lopez replied, "The biggest unique thing about each of the places is the people. "

Now, Ipanema's and Paddy Murphy's aren't the only places in Bangor that offer karaoke.

David also works at The Tavern, where they do it every night.

On Fridays, you can head to Seasons.

The Pourhouse? Sunday and they also offer live band karaoke, Thursday.

Dysart's on Broadway has it too, on Friday.

Head north, you can catch Marissa on Wednesdays at the Slice Bar in Orono.