Que d’Keys Misses the Note

There are great entertainment options in Charleston.  Throughout the city, you can find street entertainers, musicians, theater, art and so much more.  Most provide quality leisure, but some just miss the mark.  Que d’Keys on Market Street is one that truly lacks spirit, talent and a sense of direction.  We had the opportunity to spend three hours on a Friday evening to experience dueling pianos in downtown Charleston.

Early in the evening, just after 8:00 PM when we arrived, the crowd was sparse, but supportive.  We added requested four tunes and give a nice donation of $20.00 to support the musicians.  By 11:20, the only reference to our songs was a single line from ‘Rich Girl’ and an insult on what a bad selection of Guns N’ Roses song we chose. We never actually heard our songs, though a bachelorette party that came in at 10:45 got their request played within five minutes.  That happens.  He didn’t like our choices and chose not to play them.  We chalked that off to an unfulfilled entertainment fee.

At a price ticket of $20.00 per person admission, $5.00 for a beer in which the only imported options are Heineken and Corona and basic domestic bottles and $7.00 to $12.00 for mixed cocktails, expect the evening to get a little steep.  They are partnering with many area hotels and boutique hotels to offer complimentary admission tickets to tourists. That is a favorable option for those visiting our city.

The entertainment, perhaps was the most disappointing part of the evening.  Aside from:

  • Constant reminders that the more money you give, the best chance it will be to hear your song including pot shots at those that either didn’t offer money with their request or only $5.00.
  • Almost ten references to the “Blue Pill”. An occasional Viagra joke is fine, but not a running joke all evening unless that is your core audience.
  • Pressuring an anniversary couple to kiss on stage and a 21-year-old birthday boy to come on stage (which he refused).
  • An appalling country version of R. Kelly’s ‘Ignition’
  • Lack of originality in the way the songs were performed
  • Seemingly unorganized behavior by the musicians.
  • A drum set whose sound was not synced up with the pianos well
  • Piano players with limited vocal qualifications
  • An audience that was slightly weary

it was a most forgettable evening

There were two shining spots during that evening’s performance. A colleague at a dueling piano bar in California led a phenomenal rendition of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen that got the entire bar singing and shouting and a patron from Florence, Italy here in Charleston for two months ripped up the ivory and complimented it with a great singing voice.  Unfortunately, neither staffed by the establishment.

Overall, if you want quality vocals, there are many great local performers in Charleston.  If the option was a return visit or Karaoke, I would lean on the later.

We do not want to discourage any patrons from experiencing this themselves.  If you have a passion for dueling piano entertainment, please visit and make your own judgement.

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