Ottawa Event Review: LeMeow at the Atomic Rooster

Last night I got to check out one of my favourite local bands, Le Meow, at The Atomic Rooster on Bank street. If you weren’t there, you missed an awesome show! I thought I would take the opportunity to review the event for those of you who couldn’t make it, both the show and the venue, so that if you are interested, you know what to expect next time!

The sole purpose for me going was the band. I had only been to The Atomic Rooster once before, but I really love Le Meow, so that was enough reason to get me to the show.

This band is incredible. Made up of four members, the indie-soul-pop group, fronted by singer Gin Bourgeouis, played a combination of new songs from their album and old favourites that everyone knew. These included ‘Heatwave,’ ‘Fever,’ and ‘Moondance.’  Any one of the band members could hold their own as a solo artist, but together, they are unreal. Gin’s voice is smooth and sultry, and unlike anything I’ve heard elsewhere. If I had to liken her to any artist, I’d say Amy Winehouse. Her voice is strong, and fills the room effortlessly. Her tone really creates an ambience, which, having been to hundreds of concerts and shows in my life, I can say is certainly not the norm.

I’d also like to give a shoutout to the keyboardist, who rocked not only that instrument, but the saxophone AND the flute as well, proving that he is a truly talented, well-rounded musician.

The band was great with the audience. They interacted with the crowd with humour and ease, and the audience loved them offering not only applause, but loud cheers as well for their more popular covers. The show, in its entirety, was exceptional.

Check out a little snippet of what their sound is like here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vIh7ol8h-0&t=66s 

Now, the venue. I will start off by saying that I LOVED the layout. The tables were set up facing the stage at the front of the bar, and there wasn’t a bad seat in the house. I liked the feel of the venue as well; it felt casual and comfortable. The spacing between tables was great, and the layout in general seemed to work really well, especially for this type of event. Also, from looking at the promotional information around the bar, it seems as if they have a lot of events each week, including an open-mic night occasionally, which intrigues me. I may check that out.

Unfortunately, there were a few issues with the venue that made it less than ideal, all involving the food. Now, I know that a bar’s bread and butter business is alcohol, but I am a big fan of bar/pub food, and when that falls short, it really sours the experience for me.

I ordered a large nachos, which is a pub staple, and, in my opinion, pretty foolproof. It’s pretty much just chips, cheese, and a few various toppings warmed up. It’s not a tricky dish, but when my order arrived, it was incorrect. The toppings were not as ordered, in fact the opposite of what was ordered so I ate one or two nachos, and ultimately had to send them back. The server wasn’t overly apologetic, but did order a second batch for me without disdain. When they came out, the disappointment continued, although the order was correct, the chips were quite stale and the edges were burned to a point beyond eating. I’m not the type to send a dish back a second time, so I picked at them a bit, but definitely didn’t enjoy them, and ended up leaving most of them. I didn’t want to risk any other food on their large menu so hopefully this was just a bad day for Nachos.

The drinks, on the other hand, were great. I had the ABC Blueberry wheat beer. It was delicious, and is, in my opinion, the perfect summer drink. It was so good, that I had a few rounds of that same beer, and enjoyed each and every one of them despite other great micro-brewery selections available.

All things considered, it was a great night out. Le Meow is so good, that they can make any venue look good, and the music and the drinks were good enough to call the evening a great success. If you have the opportunity to get out sometime to hear them, you won’t regret it. And if you happen to go to the Atomic Rooster, I’d highly recommend that beer!