MxPx reaches out to fans and redefines karaoke

Allan Lamb

Two to perform as band plays along at Cleveland show


Credit: Ron Soltys

Real quick

MxPx Karaoke Nights Tour with The Promise Hero and The Sidekicks

Thursday, April 27

The Grog Shop, 7 p.m.

$12 in advance,

$14 day of show

If you’ve got no place to go, why not go to the punk rock show?

But this is no ordinary punk rock show. Pop-punk veterans MxPx are bringing their Karaoke Nights Tour to the Grog Shop April 24. For the entire show, two fans will do vocals for the band’s performance karaoke-style, but with the actual band playing with them.

“We played a show in Helsinki, Finland, and this kid walked up and wanted to sing a song with us,” guitarist Tom Wisniewski said of how the band got the idea for the tour. “Usually karaoke is done with cheesy music, so we thought why not have the actual band playing in front of a sweaty crowd.”

MxPx is doing the Karaoke Nights Tour simultaneously with their tour with Chiodos.

“On this tour we don’t have time to bring people up (on stage), so we’re doing this on our own,” Wisniewski said.

Before the tour started, MxPx offered fans the opportunity to send audition tapes. One audience member was chosen for each city the tour hits. One additional guest vocalist is chosen at random from the audience at each show. While the first guest vocalist has already been chosen for the Cleveland date, anyone who shows up at the Grog Shop has a chance to be chosen for the other spot. So far, the idea has been very successful.

“It’s been really fun. We’ve had people entering on YouTube and stuff, and the people we’ve had are really good singers so far,” Wisniewski said. “We give them they’re own mic and a long cord so they can do whatever they want.”

“It’s been super positive,” he added. “Nobody’s gone up and caused trouble or started crying.”

Wisniewski also said that people have done some crazy things to win the gig.

“There was a guy from Logan, Utah, who auditioned in his Pizza Hut uniform and said that it would be a dream to sing with us, and he said he’d take us down to Pizza Hut and give us anything we wanted.”

The band also does not discriminate in choosing their honorary singers.

“We’ve had a couple girls come up and sing so far. The random person in Colorado Springs was a girl,” he said. “It’s not a sexist thing. Anyone can be involved. They just have to be good or really, really entertaining.”

Contact all editor Allan Lamb at [email protected].