There is always a shift when an artist or band moves from the small intimate venues to the big stage, and often times the person(s) on the stage are not ready for it.. but sometimes, just sometimes, they are.. and they own that real estate, and it shows. Such is the case with relative ‘newcomer’ Brett Kissel. (We say newcomer because like most who make it big overnight, it’s really not an overnight process!)
The first time we saw Kissel perform, was at Penticton’s local watering hole, The Barking Parrot to a crowd of about 500+ and we knew Kissel had big things in store… After the monster success of his 3, 2, 1 song and video this spring, Kissel was nominated for 8 CCMA awards (winning 2 including Video of the Year), and is currently on tour with mega country star Brad Paisley to sold out shows.
Owning the stage from the start, Kissel came out strong and never let up with high energy, clear crisp vocals, and a voice that seemed like it would carry to the far reaches of the arena even without the speakers. Pausing now and again to touch hands with people near the front, or steal their cell phones for a quick selfie, Kissel performed his hits Started with a Song, Raise Your Glass and new single Tough People Do, but it was 3 2 1 that got the largest and loudest crowd response.
Backed by a killer band (Matt on guitar, Duncan on bass, drummer Gerard, and Tyler on fiddle) Kissel played to the entire audience, at one point using the long ramp to walk out into the crowd and get closer to those in the furthest away seats. Kissel also went out of his way to make as much ‘eye contact’ as possible with the various levels of seats in the venue, trying to make a personal connection with as many people as possible. At one point Kissel gave a shootout to the Okanagan’s only country radio station and the wonderful Roo Phelps and Casey Clarke thanking them for playing him on their station. Kelowna got a shoutout as well, which raised some massive cheers from the crowd.
Other than the set list being too short 🙂 the show overall was fun, energetic and quite the rockin’ good time! Just before his last song, Kissel announced he’d be signing autographs after the show, and as we were leaving, true to his word Kissel made his way out to a massive lineup of people wanting to continue that personal connection with him that they’d experienced during the show…. the mark of a true entertainer!
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