Monday, May 19, 2008

The Shout House - Westgate City Center, AZ

For the first time in years, we went to a bar. We being The Man and I. It was a friend’s birthday and his wife wanted us to meet them at a local sports bar to play some pool or darts. Since The Man stopped drinking all those years ago, he is not EVER keen on the idea of going to a bar. Any bar. Even if they serve food. I know and respect this and I don’t pressure or pout. Hell, most of the time, I don’t even ask if we will go when we’re invited. However, this time, something felt different so I went ahead and asked. I’m glad I did.

We ended up not going to the sports bar. Instead, we went to a place called The Shout House. It is located next to Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville at Westgage City Center. Westgate sits between the Jobing.com arena and the University of Phoenix Stadium (think of the 2008 Super Bowl).

At first I wasn’t sure what to expect. The nightclub is a 21 years and older club whose claim to fame appears to be dueling pianos and while I was intrigued and even a little giddy at the prospect, I wasn’t sure how The Man would take it. He dislikes all things not Rock and Roll or Country. He is not a fan of live music. Let alone piano music. I had the feeling our stay would be short and right along the lines of “making an appearance to be nice.”

I was wrong.

We walked in and saw the stage. A relatively large stage with two grand pianos that face each other. The wall behind the stage was floor to ceiling mirror. The mirror was slightly tilted so the audience could have a better view of the players. There were two fully stocked bars serving mixed drinks and beer and something called the Big Ass Beer (since The Man and I don’t drink, we didn’t know exactly how big the Big Ass Beer really was.) However, I bought a round for the birthday boy, which consisted of a Southern Comfort and Coke, a Coors Light and two plain cokes for The Man and I. It cost a whopping $10.

There were four rotating piano players the night we were there but when I quizzed the door man, I found out they have seven players who not only play piano, they also rotate playing drums and bass. They play and sing all range of music from rap to country to hip/hop and rock and roll. They also tell some pretty funny jokes and sing some rather racy songs as the night wears on.

At one point (okay, three points which appeared to be the top of the hours), the servers and bartenders jump onstage (and on the bar) and perform routines. When we got there they were doing a routine from the Rocky Horror Picture Show and as the night wore on, they performed to Roller Coaster (of Love) and Macho Man (wherein the men and women grab their own crotch in a Michael Jackson-esq lift and pull). The men took of their shirts and I was not complaining. At. All.

While we were there, the audience sang along, was included in many songs, joked with the players and were brought onstage for birthday wishes, bachelor parties, and other forms of embarrassment. The cover charge was minimal and the food/drinks was totally reasonable.

All in all, I really enjoyed the experience. It was not a rowdy bar and it did not seem like the typical “meat market” that I’ve been to in the past. The age range of customers was from college aged kids to middle age all the way up to a older (meaning 50+) couples. The Shout House has a full bar as well as a menu with food such as pizza, hamburgers and sandwiches, salads and appetizers.

Most shocking of all, The Man agreed it would be fun to go back for dinner and sit around and watch the show! I almost fell over.

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