(Photography by The Bmore Creatives)
Blame it on the Filipino culture, but I grew up around karaoke machines and karaoke singers my whole life. Every family party always had karaoke going on. I remember singing “At the Beginning” by Richard Marx and Donna Lewis with my cousin when Anastasia (love that movie as a kid) came out, my cousins screaming the lyrics of “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen on their mics, and my dad said singing “My Way” by Frank Sinatra… Great memories!
Things went to another level when I learned there were private karaoke rooms over in Annandale, Virginia. That was a life changer. Yes, it changed my life. I can’t even count how many times my sister and I have gotten a group of friends or family members together and partied in those rooms. If you’ve never done Korean karaoke before (for the record, you can do this particular experience in Japan too and probably in other Asian countries. I was just exposed to Korean karaoke first), it’s a dark room that has a disco light on the ceiling with plush sofas to sit on. At the center of the room there is a table with a button on it. You can use this button to order drinks or food. You also have two screens: one in front of you and one behind you. Best part: the karaoke machine. Not only are the songs up to date, but they have SO MANY SONGS. Not only do they have English songs, but they have Korean, Japanese, etc. Oh yeah — can’t forget the tambourine. TWO to be exact.
So when The Bmore Creatives sent out an invite to check out Baltimore’s new private karaoke rooms called B-Side Karaoke, I was 100% down. I knew from others that there were three private karaoke rooms that could hold a certain amount of people. I also knew that each room was based on a decade and styled in that fashion.
When I walked in with my friend Gene, we were greeted with a warm space filled with familiar friendly faces, good food, and great drinks! We all mingled for a bit; catching up with friends and meeting new people. The food that came out was great too. Cool thing about the food and drinks — you can order them in the karaoke rooms too!
After we filled up our bellies and downed a couple of cocktails, we were ready to sing until our lungs gave out!
We had a choice of picking which of the three rooms we wanted to sing in. So we all just dispersed and made random groups in each room. When we got into one of the rooms, plush sofas were pushed up against the walls, a TV was displayed at the front, and a coffee table sat in the middle of the room. I was so happy. It was like the set up of the private karaoke rooms in Annandale!
Upon the coffee table laid two mics, books filled with karaoke songs, and a silver lunch box that said “Liquid Courage” on it. Gene and I were curious so we opened the box and found a Peabody Heights Brewery beer called “Thirstay”. Neat!
Early on into the karaoke session, we realized that there were no remotes in the room! The only way you could choose your songs and control the volume of the TV was by logging onto B-Side Karaoke’s song list website: http://b-sidesongs.com/. When you log in, you submit the “room code” which is displayed on the TV of the room you’re in. After you submit the code, you’re able to search for songs to sing and have the song displayed on the TV. You can even make a list of songs! We had about eight people in our room and we kept piling songs one after the other! I gotta say, things got pretty lit when we started singing “Africa” by Toto and a bunch of Disney songs.
In regards to the songs offered by B-Side, I would say they had a pretty solid selection. I mean, they do have over 350 songs you can choose from. They had all the popular go-to songs like “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen and pretty much every Journey song. Granted there were no Japanese or Korean songs like in Korean karaoke, they did have a good selection of musicals, which Korean karaoke lacks. I’m such a nerd when it comes to musicals, so when I saw some songs from Hamilton: The Musical as singable songs I knew I was going to come back.
By the way, just a side note, my go-to karaoke songs are “Phantom of the Opera”, “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Taylor, and “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston. Also, I have a list of karaoke songs on my phone that is constantly getting updated, but that’s another story for another day. Ha!
Overall, it was a really fun night. We were only supposed to be in the rooms for two hours, but we kept going. I enjoyed B-Side so much that I even went back the following night for my friend’s birthday!
If you’re interested in checking out B-Side Karaoke, it’s normally $75 per hour. However, if you go with a group and split the cost, the price is definitely worth it. Also, if you go in August or September (of 2018 guys lol), you get your first hour free!
Heads up: there is a $30 minimum you must purchase if you buy food or drink in the rooms though. It’s honestly not a lot considering how many people you will have in a room ordering drinks. Another option you can do is drink at the bar outside the karaoke rooms, close your tab, and then get into the karaoke rooms. You can even being your drinks inside! Just make sure to pay for them before you go into one of the rooms!
If anyone ever wants to go karaoke here, please let me know. I would love to tag along!
Other Tips (because I’m too lazy to flow them strategically in the text above hahaahah):
B-Side Karaoke is located at the bottom of Hotel Revival in Mount Vernon. If you end up driving here, you can either park on the street or do valet parking. If you park on the street, watch out for the signs that tell you how long you can park! If you do valet, it’s $39.00 per night.
When you enter the bottom of the hotel, you’re going to see two places. The place that has the coffee bar is Square Meal, which is restaurant in the hotel. B-Side is the area that has a bunch of seats and a bar at the back. Make your way to that direction!
If you go between 5-7pm, Wednesday – Saturday, B-Side Karaoke has happy hour — $3 beers, $5 house glass of wine, $2 off food, and $2 off cocktails.
Also, please be sure to make reservations! You can either call or email! Contact information is provided at the bottom of the post!
And remember: if you go in August or September of 2018, your first hour of karaoke is free!
hmm… my last tip… I think if you go during happy hour and sing some songs…. that’s a good date night, right? ^_^
For more pics from the event, check out The Bmore Creatives post of the event here.
Hope you guys check it out! Let me know what your experience went!
B. Side Karaoke
101 W Monument St, Baltimore, MD 21201
Sun.-Wed. 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Thu.-Sat. 4:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Phone: (410) 727-7101
Reservation Email Here
View B-Side Karaoke’s Website
Follow B-Side Karaoke on Instagram