Spontaneity can be harder to work into life as we become older and more set in our ways. Honestly I can’t remember the last time I gave into an impulse to venture out of my routine and wander into some place new. Fortunately I wasn’t alone when my next adventure came knocking and before I knew it my friend and I found ourselves at Keys on Main in Seattle.
If it’s too early in the evening this dueling piano bar might seem sparse and not altogether inviting but after a fabulous dinner in the Queen Anne neighborhood and a few cocktails the energy picks up and so do the tips. It doesn’t take long to figure out that these musicians are not shy about asking for money for their talent. Much like karaoke, you request a song but the more you want it played the bigger the tip will need to be. The dueling alternates between the musicians as well as the audience. Did I mention that you are part of the act too? Yes this is music, theatre, and comedy all rolled into a good time and it’s a great way to support musicians as well as enjoy live music with your friends.
Not being a musician I’m always curious about how they seem to play so many different requests with such fluidity. The musical genres can run from AC/DC and Led Zeppelin to Rick Springfield and Michael Jackson. I’ve always admired musicians because there is so much amazing music to learn, how could one ever decide? Well if I was ever endowed with overnight magical piano playing skills this would be my top 10 list of Best Songs to Learn Piano to countdown.
10. Imagine by John Lennon
Who hasn’t felt the twinge of limitless possibility when they hear this song? My father loved the Beatles and John Lennon so to hear this live is always a treat. Plus I imagine John Lennon would enjoy the many variations this song has been through just like the song says.
9. Summer of ’69 by Brian Adams
This classic tune reminds me of my parent’s generation. I imagine young adults basking in the sun with their hair blowing in the wind of their convertibles probably heading somewhere to do things that I might have done if I was a flower child of the 60’s.
8. Rendezvous by Eve 6
If you have ever had your heart pulled around in many directions then this song might make sense to you. If not it sounds like someone who has a dark side for blenders and is not really sure which way is up. This pretty much sounds like heartbreak to me.
7. Any Way You Want It by Journey
Ah the blissful state of a newly budding romance. Or maybe it’s just about a lusty romp. Either way Journey gets straight to the point and lots of people like it that way.
6. Come Together by the Beatles
Another song that reminds me of the hippie lifestyle that went on in the 60’s. Maybe it’s about finding peace wherever you are. Or maybe it’s about having a good time no matter where you are at in life.
5. Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin
This song is aptly named for our times as you could feel the energy this impersonation took to pull off. A dueling piano bar brings out the theatrical in everyone as it allows people to just let it all hang out.
4. Thunderstruck by AC/DC
Ok I grew up in the south with rednecks so I’ve listened to more than my fair share of AC/DC. I truly got a kick out of this song when the pianist played it in all its glory with a fabulous impersonation. I’m not sure I would have the energy or nerve to tackle such a role.
3. Purple Rain by Prince
So I should preface this with that I heart Prince more than MJ but it really depends on my mood. I am a child of the 80’s and 90’s so it seems only normal that I developed a crush that has followed me into adulthood.
2. Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
Hearing this live made me want to moonwalk around on a lighted floor. MJ’s songs are sometimes sensual but always moving, literally. I love Michael Jackson so much that you can sometimes find me at Nectar Lounge in Fremont dancing to the dueling DJ’s as they throw down between MJ and Prince.
1. Tiny Dancer by Elton John
This classic will never be the same after learning that my friend grew up thinking this was an ode to Tony Danza. This was confirmed by one of the pianist as I attempted to stay upright on the bar stool. I too had a crush on him back in the day so the absurdity made sense.