Earlier this month Windsor native and flourishing pop artist Christee Palace returned for an exciting hometown concert opening for Walk Off The Earth on The Colosseum Stage at Caesars Windsor. When Christee Palace was 19 years old, still living in Windsor and going by her given name, Christie Palazzolo, she performed on The Colosseum stage. Afterwards she promised herself that one day she would return to perform her own songs there. The day came in what was a show that Christee eagerly anticipated, partly because of the headline act she had the honour of opening for, the world class entertainment venue, and the sold out hometown audience of 5000 which included family and friends. But the best part of it was keeping that promise to herself and being able to share the moment with the audience and her band of Windsor natives.
“I promised myself that I would be back here one day singing my own songs and now I’m here, thank you so much for sharing this moment with me,” Christee told the audience.
Her set included mainly new music along with three fantastic unreleased songs which included First World Problems, Danger and So Bad. Watch for those to be released in the new year.
But she did open the concert with one of the first songs she ever released; Light It Up, a personal motivational anthem that has been inspiring music fans everywhere it’s been performed, broadcast, or downloaded. In a June 2018 interview with Eyes On Windsor, Christee said she wrote the song after feeling discouraged by people questioning her decision to pursue a music career, citing how difficult it was to make it in the industry. The song references a specific conservation she had with her parents who encouraged her to follow her dreams.
Lyrics in the song include; “You’ll never hold me back I ain’t backing down,” and “my momma told me turn it up, you gotta stand tall, when you feel small, ya they tried to bring me down but daddy told me sing it loud, show ’em what you’re made of girl, let your name light up the world!”
Last year Christee packed up and moved to Toronto to take her music career to the next level. It seems to be the first step in fulfilling her parents advice as she lets her “name light up the world.” Her name has quickly caught attention in the highly competitive music industry in Toronto as is evidenced by it helping her to land the opening gig with Walk Off The Earth.
While the Colosseum at Caesars Windsor is a huge venue, it’s not the biggest in terms of size and audience reach that Christee Palace has performed in. She talked about that and more in an interview with Eyes On Windsor following her concert at Caesars Windsor.
How did you end up landing the opening gig for the Walk Off The Earth concerts?
These shows came about through a combination of the buzz I created in the city, and some connections through my team. I had been working extremely hard on my live show with my band, and in realizing WOTE was performing in my hometown, we thought it would be a perfect fit. I’m so happy it worked out, because it was a dream come true for me.
Is The Colosseum the biggest venue you’ve hit so far? How did you feel about being on that big stage?
The Colosseum is the second biggest, in 2013 I sang at the International Children’s Games at the WFCU Centre arena, and it was in front of 8,000, plus televised live in over 30 countries around the world.
The Colosseum is huge though, and definitely one of the most amazing places I’ve ever played in to date. Caesars Windsor is very close to my heart because they have blessed me with so many incredible opportunities since I was 19 years old. I’m so grateful.
(Editor’s note: Christee Palace joined Juno nominated singer/songwriter Suzie McNeil to sing “Don’t Stop Believin’” during the 2013 ICG Opening Ceremonies. It was after this performance she realized that she wanted to seriously pursue a full time career in the music industry.)
How do you think opening for WOE is going to effect your career?
The best part about these kinds of opportunities is that you dont really know how things are going to pan out afterwards— one benefit was just being able to perform in front of a larger audience, and gaining new fans. Another was just being able to meet the band and chat with them. You never know who is watching at these shows, or the types of connections/opportunities that may come from them. I will say this though, some pretty awesome things are happening in the new year.
Did you perform any unreleased material on Thursday? If so can you tell me about them?
The majority of the songs I performed were all brand new material. That was SUPER exciting for me, especially being able to hear the audiences response to them. I unfortunately can’t give too much details to be published on these since they are unreleased but I promise once they are I will be happy to answer any questions about them!
In a Facebook post you said there’s, “Lots of new and exciting things coming in the new year.” Can you tell me about that?
The only thing I can tell you at this point is that there are some amazing show opportunities and a new album with all the new material coming in the new year!
I know you’ve written most if not all of your songs. Now that you’re in Toronto can you tell me a little about how that is influencing your songwriting?
Yes I have! Toronto has definitely affected so much in terms of the person that I am now, and my music. It’s a whole different life here than the one I had in Windsor. It has opened my eyes to the world and the music industry, and what it takes to do this. I feel like I look at life through a completely different set of eyes.
I work with an incredible team now that I am in Toronto. All my songs are written by me, or at least start with me. The one thing I will always maintain is the connection to my music, and there is no way that is possible if I am not the one writing them, or at least having a hand in writing them. They have to be authentic and personal to me in order for any of this to have any meaning.
Has your core group of band members changed since moving to Toronto? Do Peter Stratil, Brandon Lefrancois, and Keith Wilkinson, still make up your band?
My band guys are like my brothers. I love them so much, and they have worked so hard to help me get to this point. Up until the last couple shows, that has been the same line up, but starting in the new year we will be featuring another bass player, as Keith will remain in Windsor and the rest of us are now in Toronto. It was a mutual agreement, and I am so sad to see him go, but love him so much and appreciate his time and effort to this project.
Are there any more local shows in the Windsor area coming up?
As of now there are no Windsor shows coming up, but the new year may have something in store for my hometown.
What else is going on in your life outside the music industry? What do you do for fun now that you’re in Toronto?
To be completely honest, there isn’t a day that goes by where I am not doing something related to music or my career. This is my whole life, and it’s the reason I moved to Toronto in the first place. I love it and live it. I don’t have much down time, but when I do, I love wandering around the city and just taking it all in.
Is there anything else you would like to add or talk about?
I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for your endless support and confidence in me since day one. Windsor in general has been so great to me, and I hope one day they will be able to say my name and be proud.
Judging from the audience’s response to Christee Palace’s performance in Windsor on The Colosseum stage, we would say everyone is already very proud of her.
For more information about Christee Palace visit https://www.christeepalace.com
The Walk Off The Earth concert with special guest Christee Palace was part of the Caesars Windsor Cares 2019 Concerts For A Cure Series.
Additional shows in the Concerts For A Cure Series include City and Colour (Nov 20), Charlie Brown Christmas – All Ages (Nov 23) and We Will Rock You – All Ages (Nov 29 & 30).
For more information or to purchase tickets please visit the Caesars Windsor Box Office or online go to https://www.caesars.com/caesars-windsor/shows
Photos by Dan Boshart
Dan Boshart is a talented photographer from Windsor, Ontario, who is looking forward to spending more time on concert photography when he retires from his full time job in the automotive industry. In addition to shooting bands, he has an interest in travel, architectural and street photography. Some of Dan’s photos can be viewed on Instagram and he can be followed on Twitter or his 27th Floor Photography Facebook Page.