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Thriving karaoke scene offers nightly entertainment

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Whether you’ll admit it or not, you’ve probably caught yourself belting a few lines of Bohemian Rhapsody while you’re in the shower. Or, perhaps, you’re a firm believer in blasting the radio and singing along to Adele (or Gotye) in the car instead. So, why not take all that hidden talent to the many stages of Sacramento’s karaoke scene? Here are some of your options:

The Distillery
7 days a week, 9 p.m.
2107 L St.

This local dive is known for its affordable, strong drinks as well as its dedication to making every night a sing-along night. On its website, the Distillery said that as of January of last year, management decided to cancel booking live bands in exchange for karaoke — good news for karaoke fiends.

“I went on a slower night, but I enjoyed it,” Sacramento resident David Hart said. “There’s mostly a local crowd there.”

Old Ironsides
Tuesday, first Thursday of the month, 9 p.m.
1901 10th St.

Manager Mark Gonzales recently introduced karaoke to the eclectic mix of events at Old Ironsides, and he said the event has gotten much bigger since it started.

“We’ve got regular people that come in every week now, and also people that come after work,” Gonzales said. “I’m glad to see it’s become pretty successful.”

Hosted by Sac City Entertainment, Gonzales said that Tuesdays are more crowded, and not everyone has a chance to sing. Thursdays are less so, and he said those who want their 15 minutes often get to sing two or three times during the night.

“It’s good that a lot of places around town have karaoke and it’s working,” Gonzales said. “You go where you feel most comfortable.”

River City Saloon
Thursday (live band), Friday, Saturday, 10 p.m.
916 Second St.

One of the few karaoke venues to offer a live band as backing to the singing star, River City Saloon’s Thursday night atmosphere is full of twanging guitars and loud drums. The karaoke is run by the bartenders, and since there is no stage, performers can sing from their seats with wireless microphones or, if they’re feeling more adventurous, roam the bar and encourage audience participation by asking friends for help with the song.

On The Y
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, 9 p.m.
670 Fulton Ave.

Plastered with band posters, local art and all-around spirit, On The Y is hailed on Yelp as one of Sacramento’s best karaoke spots. With multiple monitors for lyrics, a stage complete with lights and music selections ranging from rap to opera, the bar is packed to capacity on karaoke nights.

“I love karaoke nights because I get to meet fun people and put smiles on their faces,” Karaoke Manager Shay Toles said. “If they’ve had a bad day, it makes me feel good to give them a breather.”


7 days a week
9721 Folsom Blvd.

This karaoke haven comes equipped with everything a true karaoke-goer could dream of: 12 private karaoke rooms with dance floors designed for groups of six to 35, a large variety of English, Korean and Japanese songs and even the option to record your whole session on a CD.

“We are a fun, family place,” owner Julie Kin said. “Some people come here with their church choirs to practice, and some people even have their wedding receptions here.”

If you’re into the idea of karaoke but still haven’t gotten your sea legs, you can practice at Rurulala without pressure.

“Each room has its own machine, and no one walks in unless they knock,” Kin said. “You don’t have to worry, and you can gain confidence.”

Another perk includes late hours – most nights Rurulala stays open until 4 a.m.

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