dueling piano bars...
by Adam Blue
Sing us a song
you're the piano man...a song that you will definitely
hear when you visit a
dueling piano bar. Billy
Joel's famous tale of a nightclub piano man has
inadvertently turned into a nationwide
dueling piano bar craze.
City by city, the
dueling piano bars are starting to open
up. Cities like Las Vegas, Texas, Minnesota, and
Joplin Missouri have had
dueling piano bars for years but
now the idea is starting to catch on everywhere.
dueling piano bar is typically a small nightclub that centers
around two grand pianos positioned back to back with two
pianists facing each other. The pianists play songs
based on requests from the audience. Patrons write
their requests on request forms or any piece of paper they
can find and put them on top of the pianos. The
piano players then get to work on playing as many requests
as they can - usually starting with the requests that have
cash attached to them. Cash tips that accompany the
requests range from $1 to $100 depending on how badly the
patron wants to hear their song - or how drunk they are.
Most of the
dueling piano bars employ a handful of dueling
piano players who tour the country, playing all of the
dueling piano bars. Most
dueling piano bars on a given
night will staff 3 dueling piano players who take turns.
This works well for
dueling piano bar patrons as they have
a better chance of hearing their request. If the two
piano players that are onstage don't know a request, it's
possible that the third pianist will. I was at a
dueling piano bar one night that started off with two
older black piano players performing for a solid white
young audience. They were completely stumped by the
requests that they were getting. Eventually a white
piano player got up there and was able to perform the
mostly white requests. It was kind of sad because he
ended up having to stay up on stage for almost the whole
night since the black piano players didn't know any of the
modern white songs. Most dueling piano players that
play in the dueling piano chain bars are dorky little
middle aged white men who spastically pound out songs with
minimal vocal ability. But, that's where drinking a
few extra drinks will help you.
dueling piano bars like Howl at the Goon and Ernie Belch's
rely on heavy advertising dollars and cheap cheap labor.
The talent quality suffers, but at least they get rich off
of you. It probably won't be long until they start
sending illegal immigrants to their cheesy "piano schools"
- yes, they have dueling piano schools - and saving even
more money. Get your La Bamba requests ready!
dueling piano bar is a great place to go for birthdays,
bachelorette and bachelor parties, and other special
occasions. The dueling piano players will typically
embarrass the guest of honor using a number of different
comedy shticks. For example, if it's a man's
birthday the pianists might ask the man to stand up on the
stage and then ask girls in the audience to dance on the
man as if he were a stripper pole. A dueling piano
show is usually slightly risqué, and involves a little
dirty humor. If you are easily offended by rated R -
X comedy material then you will probably be offended and
should go elsewhere for your entertainment. Another
popular gag that you may encounter in a
dueling piano bar
is when you first walk in the piano players will stop what
they're doing and turn to you and say "hey everybody, NEW
PEOPLE!" - to which the audience is trained to respond
with "OH SHIT!". Obviously most
dueling piano bars
are age 21 and over.
National Dueling Pianos
Kansas City Dueling Pianos
Florida Dueling Pianos
Omaha Dueling Pianos
Nebraska Dueling Pianos
Iowa Dueling Pianos