MESQUITE, NV. The weekend’s events started off with karaoke at the Skydome Lounge. ETAs met and greeted each other with firm handshakes, hugs, and chest bumps as they gathered together for an evening of singing. Supplying the music tracks was ETA, Eric ‘E-Rock” Haws. He is the owner/operator of E-Rockin’ Karaoke and the evening’s KJ.
The meet and greet was low key since most of the competitors traveled long distances to compete. They were tired, but ready for a good time to let loose some of the pre-competition jitters and use the karaoke to prepare the vocals and check out the competition. The majority of ETAs travel in the same competition circles and used the meet and greet to catch up with each other since the last competition.
Raucous laughter erupted in between conversations about family, work, and life. The clink of cocktail glasses and beer bottles chimed in celebration for whatever was being celebrated. When a popular song played with an irresistable melody, it called out to the loungers who answered by shuffling on the small dance floor with their main squeeze. It looked more like a family reunion rather than a competition.
The meet and greet ended at 8:00 p.m. It was preempted by the final quarter of the NBA championship game between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat. The Heat beat the Spurs for a 95-88 victory. However, singing runs in the blood for most of the competitors and it was still early. The party moved upstairs into Seve Botello’s room for a night of jamming and karaoke.
The meet and greet was also a fundraiser to benefit the American Red Cross. ETAs contributed $1 per song request with the proceeds collected benefiting tornado relief throughout the United States.