If you’re over 21 in Blacksburg, finding a place to sing karaoke is as easy as walking downtown. Businesses like Top of the Stairs and PK’s Bar and Grill offer weekly opportunities for patrons to belt their favorites.
Tuesday night is karaoke night at TOTS. Activity starts to pick up at around 9 or 10 p.m. and by midnight, the bar is packed. Tuesday nights are what you might call primetime for Blacksburg residents who go to TOTS to sing their favorite karaoke hits.
Management is keen to share a tip with those who want to beat the crowd — if you slip in before the cover charge at the door begins, you can beat the rush and make a beeline for the karaoke machine. Getting there 30 minutes early could make all the difference to your wallet and to your mood.
By 11:30 p.m. the deck is at its most crowded. Employees regularly hear songs like "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond, Wagon Wheel by "Old Crow Medicine Show" and Journey’s "Don’t Stop Believing." In a southern college down, it makes sense.
Wagon Wheel seems to be a favorite with karaoke singers in Blacksburg. According to manager Michele Kennedy, Old Crow Medicine Show is no stranger to PK’s.
“Wagon Wheel is one we hear all the time, too,” Kennedy said, “We never used to have the lyrics on the screen and people would just sing it from memory. Ever since we put the lyrics up, we hear it multiple times a week.”
Country songs may be popular choices for Blacksburg’s karaoke stars, but Kennedy often hears a little more variety.
“For some reason, country songs are very popular,” Kennedy said. “There are definitely people who come back and sing the same songs from week to week. Usually you get someone singing 'Sexual Healing' by Marvin Gaye.”
Other regular song choices include "Friends in Low Places" by Garth Brooks and "I Want It That Way" by the Backstreet Boys.
Like TOTS, the crowd at PK’s starts to grow around 10 p.m. After the Tijuana Toss, where customers can flip a coin to win a free pizza, the jukebox comes on and the music begins. Customers can sing and dance the night away until closing time. Both places close at 2 a.m.
For the best karaoke in town, TOTS and PK’s Bar and Grill are the places to go.