In November of last year, the first dueling piano opened in El Paso. Elton’s Dueling Pianos is open Thursday thru Saturday and I got to experience it for the first time last Saturday.

Photo Credit: S. Dubow
Photo Credit: S. Dubow

I’m hereby proclaiming Elton’s “The Most Fun Night Out in El Paso”.

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I’ll tell you why but first…allow me to share a few videos. The key to the dueling piano show I saw was “audience participation”.

So, I got the invitation to Elton’s late in the day on Saturday. The invitation came from my boss.

I guess the owner knew KLAQ had a table and he must have told the pianists to give our table a little “extra attention”.

Photo Credit: S. Dubow
Photo Credit: S. Dubow

About 3 songs in, one of the piano guys said, “I need EVERYBODY who works for KLAQ up on the stage RIGHT NOW!”

I look over at the boss and he makes it clear that HE isn’t getting up there.

Likewise, none of the other guests were jumping up to go on stage. So, I bit the bullet and THIS happened…

Here are a few of the reasons I enthusiastically recommend Elton’s Dueling Pianos for your next night out.

1.) You probably WON’T be asked to get up on stage.

Let’s say there were 100 -150 people in the room (it was packed!) All night long, maybe 20 people had to get on stage. If you’re not in the first couple of rows and NOT from a visiting media outlet, you can probably sail under the radar.

2.) It’s different for pianists every week.

I didn’t know this part of the business model. Every week they bring in different talent. In that respect, it’s more like a comedy club than anything else.

3.) What a bar!

The bartenders turn the serving of your drinks into a whole SEPARATE show from what’s going on up on the stage.

Our guy was Ross and he was bringing out drinks, each more exotic than the last. I’ve never seen anything like it (mostly because I just go to dives). He had a “gun” that would make your drink smoke like a witch’s cauldron.

There were bubbles he would make with this thing that would float over the table, eventually descending into a tablemate’s waiting maw.

At one point he brought out what I thought were tiny little roses. Upon closer inspection, they were strawberries intricately carved to LOOK like roses.

These were also dipped in alcoholic convection of some kind. Honestly, the bar show was as impressive as the regular entertainment.

4.) Parking…NOT a problem

Elton’s is in Union Plaza. Even though both shows were packed, it was absolutely NO problem finding a free parking space within a block.

5.) There are two shows nightly

You pay for the first show you go to. If you want to hang around for the second show, there’s no additional cover.

Also, the first show went almost three hours so you might have to find a babysitter who’s willing to work until 2. From my experience, you’ll probably want to stay for both shows.

Photo Credit: S. Dubow
Photo Credit: S. Dubow

I can’t give this experience enough stars. It’s a really unique experience, unlike anything I’ve ever seen in El Paso.

I’ve been to dueling piano bars in Dallas and Vegas and this one blows them both away.

I would go back, but I might not sit close to the stage or in the sight-line of the talent.

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