Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Karaoke Review: On the Rocks

Reviewed 2007-05-17

I love being the organizer of the Toronto Karaoke Meetup group for two reasons: 1. because you meet so true affectionados. 2. Because people often send you to places they enjoy going themselves. Good, Bad or in between, its info other karaoke lovers can use when selection a venue. Its what my blog is all about. So here is another reviewed on yet another reviewed venue.

The Good: The selection here was surprisingly good. Around 8k songs. The system is MIDI based as this is another family run restaurant/bar. Yes there is food here. The stage is actually a stage albeit a small one. There are 3 mikes here: two on stage and one at the bar so if one wants to stay seated with their drink they don't actually move anywhere to sing a selection. The rotation times were quite fast probably because there are not a lot of people on a Thursday night. Fridays and Saturdays may be another matter. The rotation is strictly round robin. Service on food was very prompt.

The Mixed: The equipment isn't bad not not amazing either. Mikes are passable and sound levels acceptable most of the time but you may need to be aware of them. Food selection is Chinese Schezwan dishes, most of which are a little bit spicy. I've had worse but have certainly had better. Prices are reasonable, although you may get a bit better in Chinatown but then again, one isn't here strictly for dinner. Room here is limited to around 50-60 people, plus the outdoor patio on warm evenings. There was only one book by title so you'll have to basically ask for it when you want to find a selection by song name.

The Bad: There was nothing really bad here. Isn't it nice when this section is short?

On The Rocks is a good place for Karaoke if you live on the east end of Front Street or anywhere near Front & Sherborne. Its not amazing karaoke venue by any means but is has all the basics and a short wait time if you go in on Thursdays. Its more of a neighborhood place than anything else but its a decent one to go to for karaoke with people you know in your neighborhood. There is another place I'll be reviewing shortly, Upfront Bar & Grill, which is almost across the street, but On The Rocks has a larger selection of songs. The only thing it lacks is an MC but the owner is interactive enough with the customers that she could quality with a little effort.

Facilities: 7.7 (its a bar/restaurant but has a real karaoke stage setup. Decor isn't too bad so you'll feel right at home)
Equipment:7.5 (Its got the basics plus a bonus for a 3rd "bar" mike)
Song Selection: 8.0 (Surprisingly good consider this is an "all-in-one" MIDI System, could be the same as the Grasshopper but unable to verify)
Food Service: 8.2 (Service was quick, attentive and friendly)
Food Selection: 7.0 (Basic Schezwan, caution if sensitive to spicy food)
Food Quality: 7.4
Prices: 7.3 (Prices are okay, but seen better for the food you get)
Location: 7.8 (There is a bus that runs along Front Street, some parking both paid and free on side streets)
Host: 6.9 (The Bartender calls your name, but the owner has potential..)
Wait times: 9.0 (Thursday's a slower night but since the restaurant only holds round 60 people, wait times shouldn't be too bad)

Final Grade: C+

Venue Information:
On The Rocks
169 Front Street East
Toronto, ON
(416) 862-2901
Thursdays, Friday & Saturdays
10:00 PM - 2 AM

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At 3:13 PM, Blogger lxixerca said...

One tiny correction - the system is not MIDI based. It is CD+G based with a few VCD's thrown in. (I'm not a big MIDI fan). Also, their selection of 8000 songs has increased to aprox. 14000 since your review.

Great Blog...Full of valuable info...Keep up the good work.

At 3:43 PM, Blogger leopard said...

Just to clarify, There are NO MIDI songs at this Bar. They are CD+G with a few VCD and DVD disks.

The song titles have now grown at the present time to over 14000 and growing.

Soon to be moved to a computer Based System

At 3:27 PM, Blogger Jonah A. Libster said...

Hi, :D Just to clarify the clarification: While the format storing the music is CD+G all the music I heard there was created using a MIDI keyboard and a mixer. (I'm also a part time musician and I know the technology for making various electronic music) CD+G just means CD + Graphics. Sometimes the recorded music is live (generally older CD+G disks these days), sophisticated wave files, but in the case of the disks it was low end midi sound library. There is often confusion for many between the medium of storage and the method to create the original sound. Some CD+G disks are of higher quality than others. VCD are infamous for low grade midi recorded music for karaoke. (I've yet to hear one I'd play in my own karaoke place if I ever have one)

On a different topic, glad to hear this is going computer based. I find these solutions far superior. Cheers.


At 3:31 PM, Blogger Midge Klump said...

Has anyone heard about this place changing hands? I have heard a rumour that it is now under new management (August 2009) - any idea if they will be continuing with karaoke on Thurs/Fri/Sat?

At 3:26 AM, Blogger Elango said...





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