Canadian country prodigy Brett Kissel blew the roof off of The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor this past Friday night, with a little help from fellow songster Steven Lee Olsen. From the first strum of his guitar, kicking off the show with “She Drives Me Crazy”, it was clear that Windsor was in for a real hoedown.
Every ounce of Kissel’s natural-born showmanship was on display. Several times he mentioned how special this show was for him, and the audience could feel it. For some, it felt like one of those unforgettable concerts that last a lifetime, like The Beatles at Shea Stadium, John Coltrane in Japan or Cheap Trick at Budokan – this was his moment – this was his time to shine. And it was obviously hard for Kissel to hold back the smiles, the emotions and the energy – it was a legendary night that was hopefully recorded for posterity.
Kissel’s magnetic energy held the crowd in the palm of his hand, as he worked his way through a hit-studded setlist. One moment, he was reeling in the audience with the poignant “Never Have I Ever,” then he’d rev the energy right back up with foot-stomping anthems like “Drink About Me” and “Cool With That.” The crowd was eating right out of his hand.
The moment was even brighter when he invited Olsen on stage for ‘Make a Life, Not A Living”. He kept his friend and hit songwriter on stage for a few songs.
When the first notes of the nostalgic “Started With a Song” filled the air, the audience erupted, belting out every word of the decade-old favourite. But Kissel wasn’t done yet. He brought the house down with a foot-stomping, crowd-pleasing rendition of “Thank God I’m a Country Boy.”
As for the encore, it was an all-out Canuck celebration. Kissel reeled off an unexpected and lively medley of Canadian classics, including “Born to Be Wild,” “Roller,” “One Week,” “Sunglasses at Night,” “Summer of ’69,” and “Raise a Little Hell.” This genre-blending romp through Canadian music history made sure the concert ended on a high note, leaving the audience buzzing.
Kick-starting the evening was Toronto-born Steven Lee Olsen, whose collection of country-pop hits set the perfect tone for the night. He showcased his songwriting skills for his parents, who were in the house, when he sang his song “Blue Ain’t Your Color”, which was made famous by Keith Urban. Additionally, his heart-tugging rendition of “What You’re Made Of” was a testament to his lyrical talent and emotional range, warming up the crowd and getting them ready for the rollicking night ahead.
From delivering memorable performances to keeping the crowd engaged, it’s clear that Brett Kissel is just getting started. The prairie boy knows how to put on a show and, judging by the raucous reception at Caesars Windsor, his fans wouldn’t have it any other way. With the love he’s getting from the Great White North, Kissel’s compass is sure to keep pointing up.
Brett Kissel with Steven Lee Olsen
June 16, 2023
All photos by Dan Savoie
Steven Lee Olsen:
- She Drives Me Crazy
- We Were That Song
- A Few Good Stories
- Never Have I Ever
- Cool With That
- Drink About Me
- Watch It
- Tough People Do
- Make a Life, Not a Living
- Raise Your Glass
- Cadillac Ranch
- Started With a Song
- Thank God I’m a Country Boy
- Born to Be Wild / Roller / One Week / Sunglasses at Night / Summer of ’69 / Raise a Little Hell