Eastside company knows how to throw a good party WIGS AND WACKINESS

Wearing wigs and singing all the weird songs is where Troy McVicker got his start.

Wearing wigs and singing all the weird songs is where Troy McVicker got his start.

He would sing anything that didn’t require much talent: The B-52’s Love Shack or some Adam Sandler tunes to get people laughing.

McVicker – now the president of Kirkland-based Event Source Northwest that recently won King5’s Best Wedding DJ of Western Washington people’s choice award – came up with the idea of starting a karaoke company more than 20 years ago when he stepped in to Lake Bellevue Café. There, he watched a karaoke show that was rousing during the introduction.

“But the whole middle part (of the show) was lacking the energy to keep it going strong, to keep it going up,” said McVicker, a Kenmore resident. “After you hear a good singer sing The Rose ten times, I mean there’s only so much before you just want to kill yourself, right?”

A bartender at the time, McVicker started his company, then known as Instant Hollywood. A step above amateur at best, he started as a karaoke master of ceremonies at the Islander Pub on Mercer Island. He also alternated weekends at Sluggers in Kirkland and other pubs across the Eastside, mixing music in between entertaining the crowds with games like “Beer Factor,” a spin off of the Fear Factor show.

“My whole thing was, let’s throw a party, let’s have a great MC and do music in between and it worked,” he recalled. “It took a good facilitator of energy and a good MC to keep the level of energy up.”

His shows were always packed, and then five years into it, Kirkland resident Scott Branston showed up at Lahaina Louie’s Pub in Redmond one day.

A music major at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Branston was introduced to the “magic of Troy” and started as a DJ for McVicker’s shows. Once known as “Troy Boy and Scotty B,” the duo has since taken the company – now Event Source Northwest – to a whole different level.

“We decided that we couldn’t do the bar thing anymore because our livers were hurting,” McVicker joked.

The interactive entertainment company now throws parties on a larger scale. They’ve spun country music for a hoedown wedding, entertained disco weddings, as well as corporate parties for Microsoft, Costco and Bellevue and Kirkland Chamber benefit events.

The wigs and weird songs are still a part of their getup, from time to time. But now they’ve added party features like Twisted Casino, with games such as “Whack Jack” and the latest craze, Twisted Trivia, an eight-person game show.

“We can customize trivia to include details about the products of that particular company, or the company’s practices they use, or the president or employees of the company,” Branston said. “It personalizes it and makes it something that everyone can get excited about and it’s much more fun when you make a stronger connection with the employees.”

Each party the company hosts also includes a DJ and emcee team to facilitate the event.

“I would say we’re the best, but we’re even more the best … because we care,” McVicker said.

Before each party, his company meets with the bride and groom or company to find out who they are and learn more about their guests. McVicker’s teams also spend time months before an event to plan for the party’s interaction, from what music will be played to a wedding party’s introduction.

“So when we introduce them, we’ll do the bridal party and the groom can come out, ‘don’t ya wish your girlfriend was hot like me,’” McVicker recites the song from the Pussycat Dolls.

They also interact with the tables and play games to get people acquainted with each other, such as a scavenger hunt, where folks will fumble to find an out-of-state driver’s license or lipstick.

“So the crowd is energized, the wedding party feels a part of it and right from that moment, we have people who say this is the best wedding they’ve ever been to and they’ve only been there a half hour,” McVicker said.

His goal for any party: Do not give people the chance to think about leaving.

People put so much energy into these events, he added, “whether it’s the bride or the person putting together an event for the corporate party, that what a shame if people were taking off early.”