Here I was, in the beautiful centre of the European Union’s capital. This is a place of serious decision making, a middle ground for international relations between Europe’s superpowers, and from what I could tell, not designed for a night on the town. Brussels is in a interesting combination of incredible food, and a strange alphabet soup of cultural influences.
But why would that stop anyone from having a good time?
The city is the equivalent of someone’s strict parents carefully hiding the remote control. We just had to find the spot, to have the fun we were looking for. As we were walking down the streets sipping on our Belgium beers, a man with a clear North American accent screams down from his second floor window: “KARAOKE TONIGHT, BE THERE!”, pointing at a tiny little bar. Obviously, that was the kind of activity you are expecting to stumble upon in this city on a quiet monday night in May.
Night comes, and we make our way in the empty streets of Brussels to the little pub. We open the doors to find the place filled to the brim with people. We spot the guy from the second floor and join their little group made up of tourists from everywhere and anywhere.
The first thing I noticed; the singers were rocking the house. I guess this bar was a hotbed for vocal talent. I was a little intimidated, but I knew no one in the entire country. Obviously I was going to show everyone that the Trevi bar and grill in Sudbury had trained me for this moment of glory. My belligerent self flips through the pages of the song book to find something worthy of this monday night delight.
For the life of me, I could not recognize any songs. But then I saw it, like a beacon of light in a dark cave. The only song I could recognize, How you remind me by Nickelback. Yikes.
I was about to sing the number one song from the 2002 Billboard hot singles charts, infront of Belgian locals, and a group of my new friends. I honestly thought I was going to get boo’ed off the stage and have my passport removed by the Canadian embassy.
I kick off the song with my best grungy impression of Chad Kroeger’s voice. “Never made it as a wise man…” To my surprise, everyone in the bar started singing along. To every word. I got off stage and I knew I butchered the vocals. I am a terrible singer, but the fact that all these people loved Nickelback or atleast that song, made me wonder. What is so bad about these Canadian treasures?
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