Sure, I can get my karaoke kicks elsewhere. And KJ Paul will find a new home for his KJ-ing. But there was something truly special about Wednesday nights at El Rio with KJ Paul. He brought every type of person into one room mid-week to belt their hearts out. There were no barriers, no stage – just a space and a microphone and everyone crowded around you.
I didn’t do karaoke before I found KJ Paul. I thought it was stupid. I thought it was scary. Then one night in 2011 I found myself in El Rio with a bunch of new friends, and I found a new confidence along with a home where we would all come together every week and not give a shit. There were also always the fixtures, who I think of as KJ Paul All-Stars. These people are pictured below and are just a few of the characters that made this night so special, whether it was with their impressive chops, their erratic dance moves, or just their natural charisma. El Rio on Wednesdays was a community of friends and strangers who all found their happy place singing along with KJ Paul, and it will be missed by many.