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Little Stella at Rainbow Bistro- Live Review

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Who: Little Stella

From: Ottawa, ON

Where: The Rainbow Bistro, Ottawa, ON

When: May 31

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Style: Canadian alternative folk rock, including a bounteous amount of soul pleasing guitar and vocal harmonies.

Crowd: On weekend nights, Ottawa’s Rainbow Bistro is a notoriously seething hot pot packed with people looking for a night of good music — and local bands Little Stella & The Gallop certainly did not disappoint. The architecturally dynamic venue attracted a modestly young and energetic crowd Saturday night. Audience participation ranged from those bench warming the balcony seats of the second floor to people boppin’ away on the dance floor. Little Stella evidently had a lot of audience support; fans were chanting words of encouragement to the group members in between songs, generating an optimistic ambiance between the musicians and crowd.

Technicalities: Despite the mere four-person collective, Little Stella encompasses a surprisingly substantial sound. Equipped with keyboard, harmonica, a digital organ bass pedal, two electric guitars, and a drummer who doubles as lead vocalist, these talented comrades multitasked a riveting game of musical instruments (get it, like musical chairs) throughout the set. The sound tech was a little wonky at parts, though it didn’t take away from the set and/or overall vibe whatsoever.

Sex appeal: Subjectively speaking, I find harmonic dueling guitar solos to be one of the most aurally arousing musical techniques. Something about the slow wail and wane in which Little Stella guitarists Zach Ledgerwood and James Siwanowicz perform is enough to make even a nun’s panties drop. Furthermore, hearing their fans chant a inebriated chorus of, ‘SEX-Y, SEX-Y’ in between songs undoubtedly amplified Little Stella’s sexual swagger.

Memorable moment: Sanctioned back for an encore, Little Stella decided to perform a song from their cover repertoire. The group broke out an insatiable cover of Outkast’s ‘Hey Yeah’, complete with a growly (and admittedly impressive) rendition of Andre 3000’s mid-song rap, which had audience members shaking it like an album of disarrayed Polaroid pictures as they promptly and properly saturated the dance floor.

Overall: Bands Black Dogs and The Gallop complimented Little Stella’s musical stylistics suitably in terms of stage presence and Canadian folk rock nature. Having recently performed at Cobourg’s Music Experience, Little Stella has a plethora of local and cross-provincial gigs lined up for the coming summer months. The band also recently shot their first music video for their original song titled ‘Bluff’, which includes a priceless still life panoramic shot of the four members being fed grapes and showered in champagne by an entourage of beautiful ladies. You can hear musical innuendos comparable to that of Fleet Foxes and Half Moon Run on Little Stella’s two EP’s, both of which are available for download on Bandcamp.


Review by: Julia Allen



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