Friday, July 19, 2024

A performer at karaoke Tuesday night at Charlie’s Kitchen in Cambridge’s Harvard Square. (Photo: Marc Levy)

If we were to list our civic duties to these great cities, karaoke comes right after voting and right before complaining about the T. Karaoke is one of the few places where co-workers who secretly hate each other, old businessmen and bachelorette parties can bond over a shared love of Hall & Oates. If you need a place to convince others you’re secretly a star, look no further. Here’s a guide on where to find karaoke almost every night of the week – much of it provided by The People’s Karaoke, an event series traveling from bar to bar across Cambridge and Somerville and Boston. Its DJ Sparky hosts many of the events below using the same songbook and rules: All shows are 21-plus and don’t charge at the door. That makes much of choosing an event truly about the convenience of location and timing. 

Did we miss a karaoke spot in Cambridge or Somerville? Let us know at [email protected].



Tavern at the End of the World
: 108 Cambridge St., Charlestown
Time: 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Vibe: Mix karaoke with a game of chance with Keno-oke at this Irish pub about a block over the town line from Somerville. For a dollar, pick a song out of a sheet of 50. If your song number matches the one generated by host Scotty Lombardo on his computer, you’ll get the chance to win all the money in the bucket. Betting is not necessary, but it adds a little bit of fun to the experience.



Audrey Mosher sings karaoke Tuesday at Charlie’s Kitchen in Cambridge’s Harvard Square. (Photo: Marc Levy)

Charlie’s Kitchen
10 Eliot St., Harvard Square, Cambridge
Time: 9:30 to 11:30 p.m.
Vibe: Sing out your blues in this wonderfully cluttered blend of classic American diner and grandma’s overly indulgent lamp collection. If you tire of singing or, better yet, want to sing while chewing, try the famous double cheeseburger.



Roxy’s A4cade
292 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridgeport near Central Square, Cambridge
Time: 7 to 11 p.m.
Vibe: If you dream of singing into bright lights, this is the place. The neon glow of the pinball machines and arcade games will give your performance the star power it needs to transcend your vocal abilities. This karaoke goes by weekly themes.

The Jungle
6 Sanborn Court, Union Square, Somerville
Time: 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Vibe: Belt out Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” in an old police garage – but get there early and catch the tail-end of a weekly open mic, because the line gets long.



The Middle East
472 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, Cambridge
Time: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Vibe: Not for the faint of heart – not because the crowd is particularly intimidating, but because the aura of legends who’ve performed in the venue are embedded in its walls. There are also occasional nights for pop punk and emo karaoke performed alongside bands; Afro karaoke has visited too.



Lamplighter Brewing Co.
Lamplighter CX, 110 N. First St., North Point, Cambridge
Time: 9 p.m. to midnight
Vibe: For those of us who never really got over “High School Musical.” Perform in a space with the vibe of a high school cafeteria or upscale coffee shop to serenade a potential Troy or Gabriella or Chad into existence.



Orleans Restaurant
65 Holland St., between Davis and Teele squares, Somerville
Time: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Vibe: Combine your love of sports, lobster rolls and opera. A huge selection of craft beers and cocktails could give your performance the boost it needs.

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