Carla Suggs/Nevada Sagebrush.
A student dressed as a dinosaur sings “Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perri during Spooky Karaoke Night at The Joe on Thursday, Oct. 25. The night was full of costumed contestants singing their hearts out to a room of fellow students.

Karaoke night is a particular favorite among students at the University of Nevada, Reno. Each event is filled with uproarious laughter, songs screamed at the tops of lungs, supportive cheering and faces stuffed with Blind Onion pizza. There was no exception to this phenomenon during The Joe’s last karaoke night on Thursday, Oct. 25.

However, there was a special twist.

Karaoke night turned “spooky” on in honor of Halloween, with The Joe encouraging attendees to dress up in their best costumes. Buckets of candy were set out on each table, causing students to recall their earliest memories of trick-or-treating as children. Decorations were also set up around Blind Onion to get everyone in the Halloween spirit.

Around 10:30 p.m., a costume contest was held that involved outfits of all shapes in sizes, such as a large T-Rex, a couple dressed as Bob Ross and a “happy little tree”, Spiderman, Mario and Luigi, Harley Quinn and even a plug and outlet. Yet the prize of stickers and a Yoobao portable charger inevitably went to a couple of pals, Matthew Longland and Travis Matthews, dressed as Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen.

“I got a sick costume so I thought I’d show it off a little bit,” Longland said after he and Matthews won the contest.

The rest of the night was dominated by voices booming from the stage, where people sang their hearts out to medleys like “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5 and “Como la Flor” by Selena. In the audience, people were equally enthused and supportive of those on stage, even if the singer had a little voice-crack or moment of nerves. Cheers erupted after every performance as if everyone knew one another, proving how encouraging the UNR community can be.

Despite the support, however, it was still easy to see how one might become nervous when performing.

“It was definitely easier since I had people I know [in the crowd],” said Longland — or Jon Snow — following a performance of “Your Man” by Josh Turner. “Otherwise I might not have done it … I went like a turn before I was supposed to, so I didn’t even think about [being nervous].”

Another tempting aspect of karaoke night — besides the classic jams and hilarious costumes — was the pizza served courtesy of Blind Onion. Attendees only had to follow The Joe on one social media site to be awarded two free pieces pizza. For some, this was enough to last them the whole night. Others, however, found themselves craving more.

“They could increase those [pizza] tickets to maybe four tickets,” said Marcus Webster, a student who came solely for the free food. “Because, if we’re being honest, who is two pieces of pizza feeding? No one.”

Alexa Carpenter, an attendee dressed as a Ravenclaw student from Hogwarts, also had some critiques about the food and drink options.

“There could be more alcohol … and more dairy-free options for people who can’t eat dairy,” she said.

Despite these comments, many students agreed the atmosphere of karaoke night was perfect for having a good time. People could certainly feel the spirit of Halloween in Blind Onion that night.


Carla Suggs/Nevada Sagebrush.
The contestants of the night’s costume contest gather around for a group photo.