What’s up, downtown Tacoma music scene? I went out last Friday to the Varsity Grill to check the buzz I’ve been hearing about this karaoke band. They are called Rock-Bot and this band really lives up to their name. They know over 550 songs and are constantly adding new songs to the list. Seriously, talk about machines. What’s great about these guys is they’re not your everyday cheesy karaoke act. You know, where the venue hires a guy to come out with his sound equipment, he has a little scrolling monitor for the lyrics and a list of top forties and oldies songs that you can sing along with. No, Rock-Bot is live band karaoke where any Joe Blow can come up on stage, have a rock star moment and experience what it feels like to perform live. Their song list is huge, ranging from Selena Gomez to Sir Mix-a-Lot, all the way to U2.
I had a chance to catch up with Rock-Bot host Bria Macoy and picked their brains about their band.
How do you practice over 550 songs on a regular basis?
“Pete emails the whole band the songs that we are getting. Sometimes he’s nice and waits a while to put them on the list and some times he’s not nice and just throws them on there. I download the songs and listen to them in my car to learn the backup parts. Everyone has their own way of practicing. Pete just knows every freaking song in the world, and he makes the sequences for the songs so that helps him as well. Rob is an amazing guitar player. He will be like “Oh okay lets try this, what key is it in?” He usually can nail on the first try playing the song. Dylan our drummer practices eight hours a day. He acts as the spinal column of the band.”
Is it true that you only need to know a few key things to be able to play 95% of the top forties songs?
“The blessing and curse of putting the top forties songs on the list is that they are really simple. It’s great because it’s easy. We added Selena Gomez’s “Love You Like A Love Song”. We did it for the children of course, but it’s so freaking ridiculously easy. There are like three or four chords in the whole song.”
What’s one of the most requested songs people do?
“Adele’s “Rolling In the Deep”. It’s a great song; kids and adults love to sing it. When we play it at all age venues it’s not awkward to hear a 12 year old girl singing it, it’s kind of cool and empowering.”
What’s your guy’s drink of choice?
“Fireball, we are all fueled by fireball. Sometimes when we are all done with the gig, we will all do a shot of fireball together.”
Rock-Bot does a great job at making this experience authentic and true to the music. Every If you want to check them out for yourself head out to the Varsity Grill in Tacoma on Broadway on Friday or Saturday nights from 8:30 p.m. to close.