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The Boombox at the Dean Hotel

The Boombox has thousands of songs for all musical tastes.

Karaoke is King Downtown

By Joshua Aromin

When it comes to going out, some nights are great for beers and apps, others for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and then there’s that once-in-a-while evening that’s destined for the melodic noise singing of karaoke. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then karaoke may be the most fun way to express it. Enter the Boombox in Providence. The downtown bar at the Dean Hotel is the cool kid at school, the one that says “Hey man, check out my massive widespread collection of music. Want to sing some songs?” In other words, the karaoke happening here is a long way away from your uncle’s collection of Barry Manilow laserdiscs.

The toughest lyric in all the land, the "8 Bar Instrumental Break."

The toughest lyric in all the land, the “8 Bar Instrumental Break.”

I went with a few friends on Saturday and while the karaoke bar’s lounge area has plenty of space, we opted to rent one of the available rooms for unabashed and uninterrupted singing. That meant going for every song I – at one time or another – said I’d sing at karaoke but never had. Think the “Ignition Remix” by R Kelly, “Just a Friend” by Biz Markie, “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” by the Darkness and the list goes own. From the growl of Ja Rule on “Always On Time” to the scream/singing chorus of Sheryl Crow’s “If It Makes You Happy,” the night’s song choices ranged from the best of the ’80s to the early 2000s to modern day hits (“Shake It Off” was sung twice). With a selection of thousands of songs, they have everything there. And by nature of only sharing the room with just my compadres, we were singing a lot. I was out of breath after about three songs because clearly I’m a renowned cardio legend.

The Boombox has thousands of songs for all musical tastes.

The Boombox has thousands of songs for all musical tastes.

There’s a certain camaraderie built between people singing along to the same song, whether they’re longtime buddies or newly made friends, such as the group in the lounge who we invited to our room. Other instances of groups singing together include such classic situations like “Sweet Caroline” at Red Sox games or singing Aerosmith when you get stuck in an elevator. But considering we’re nowhere near baseball season and getting stuck in an elevator is never really ideal, the karaoke bar is the definitive best bet. Along with the singing, the Boombox also has cocktails, wines, beers and awesome snacks like Pocky Sticks. But the star here is the music catalog and well…you.

The Boombox at the Dean Hotel, 122 Fountain St., Providence, 401-861-0040, 

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