The Renegade Rip

Bakersfield locals attend The Padre to enjoy the annual Dueling Pianos

Saad Kazi, Reporter

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Saad Kazi
Vince Orlandi (left) and Michael Mastromatteo sit across from one another and alternate playing.

From the basement of The Padre on the night of Saturday, Sept. 22, the instrumentals from the lobby were still able to be heard.

Why? Because Dueling Pianos is not a showcase of ordinary piano talent, but instead something that forces passersby into a room and a party of friends to turn a place into a dancefloor.

California Dueling Pianos comes under the spotlights of the dark Prospect Lounge of the hotel every Friday and Saturday night. Every week, two new pianists, rotating from a group of about fifteen, take a piano across from one another and take audience requests to alternate and play hits from The Beatles, Nirvana, Elton John, and Cardi B, just to name a few.

On this particular night, the talents were L.A. native Vince Orlandi and Michael Mastromatteo, from Sacramento. The two combined all genres and tempos of popular music to fill the duration of the night with laughter, dance, color, and song.

“The purpose is pretty similar to any live entertainment,” Orlandi said. “We’re here to make sure people have a good time.”

And who could have had a better time than the large and vivacious bachelorette party, for which “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” was an appropriate selection?

Saad Kazi
Michael Mastromatteo of California Dueling Pianos plays a wide variety of popular songs for guests at the Padre.

“We’re different than a band or a deejay … we try to get the crowd involved,” Orlandi said.

Orlandi and Mastromatteo played not traditional piano notes but keyed up more modernized, wide-ranging instrumentals that served the room more upbeat, fast-paced pop, rock, and country music. Sounds which, paired with the pianists’ own ecstatic vocals, created more moving, lively vibes for the party and the rest of the audience.

Top it all off with drinks, and Dueling Pianos becomes all the more appealing. Between getting oneself intoxicated at the bar, a guest could sit upstairs in a more private, spacious area, still with the pianists in view.

Like the bachelorette party, every person had their chance to dance the entire night away. Because while it lasts into the late hours, there is no better time for one to celebrate and groove to, of all things, the piano.

Saad Kazi
Vince Orlandi (left) and Michael Mastromatteo playing for audience members.

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Bakersfield locals attend The Padre to enjoy the annual Dueling Pianos