Karaoke From Hell started off largely as a performance art project. The act was founded in the early 90's by local music icons Tres Shannon and Dawn Panttaja. They had a simple concept: karaoke with a live band. The fact that neither the singers nor the musicians practiced any of the songs ensured that Karaoke From Hell lived up to its name -- to the delight of all in attendance.
Over the last two decades, KFH has evolved into an active, professional band that plays over 500 songs from nearly every musical genre. They’ve played thousands of shows, including formal weddings, corporate functions, and large festivals. All the while, however, they've managed to stay close to their performance art roots. Their Monday show at Dante's - one of Portland's most popular nightclubs - has maintained an audience for 13 years. People come not only to live out their rock star fantasies with a live band on stage, but to witness the antics of the band and the regular performers.
“Deep within every person who summons the courage to stand up on stage and sing karaoke — or even just stand in front of a mirror and sing into their hairbrush — there is a secret rock star. While, in reality, you might just be caterwauling to a room full of disinterested hipsters (and/or your personal coterie of stuffed animals), somewhere inside your heart and your imagination, you are fronting a totally kickass band in front of a sea of devoted fans who cheer wildly as you rock the microphone. It's a nice dream, and if you happen to have the instruments, equipment, talent, dedication, and luck necessary to form a rock band and make it a reality, then that is very awesome for you. For everyone else, though, the closest you're going to get is Karaoke from Hell.” - Portland Mercury