Smack in the middle of Fremont East, at 517 Fremont Street, lies a dark door with a simple grey piano icon perched above it. While this makes it fairly obvious that inside the door lies a piano bar, it hardly prepares you for what’s inside.
Don’t Tell Mama is not your average piano bar. While the fun (but overdone) piano bar formula is to have two pianos, and two pianists dueling it out, there is only one piano here. Rather than have the pianists do all the singing, here patrons join in the action as well as the bar staff. Think of it as piano bar meets karaoke, but with better talent than karaoke typically draws. The action is on seven days a week, and if my visit on a Tuesday night is any indication, this place is a fantastic take any day of the week.
The highlight of my night at Don’t Tell Mama was a performance by Dre Whitt. Dre is one of the bartenders and also a crowd favorite performer. She has a strong stage presence, drawing in the crowd, getting everyone singing and clapping. During her rendition of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”, which included a medley of other “four chord” songs ranging from John Denver to Lady Gaga, she challenged the crowd to sing loud enough that the people across the street at “Insert Coins” would hear them. I’m pretty sure we did.
Recalling Dre’s performance is what lead me to call this section of the blog “Vegas Has Talent.” Luckily, I had the forethought to bring along a camera with some quality microphones, so you won’t have to take my word for it – check out an excerpt from her performance below.
Reasonably priced drinks and high caliber entertainment with no cover charge on a Tuesday night make this place one of the many reasons I love Las Vegas!
- Get there around 9-10pm and the party should already be swinging. (In fact, you might have trouble finding a seat.)
- If you think you can sing (but you can’t) then don’t. There is no screen with words to hold your hand. Besides, with the talent that this bar draws – your out of tune, out of time, drunken crooning could be uncomfortably out of place.
- The tip jar on the piano is for the pianist, many of the singers will accept tips on their person (and even if they say to tip the jugs – and some will, it’s not a strip club, so don’t get too fresh!)
- Finally, if you don’t like the music, wait a few minutes, it’ll probably change. If the beer selection was as varied as the music, this could nearly be my favorite bar.
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