I recently had the opportunity to attend my first performance at the recently opened OLG Stage at Fallsview Casino Resort This latest addition to the resort complex offers a second larger space in addition to the existing Avalon Theatre, yet this newer intimate three-level 5,000 seat state-of-the-art venue still guarantees that no seat is more than 50 metres from the stage.

Between the two venues, there are hundreds of performances per year taking place. It should be noted that while the Avalon Theatre is accessed via the casino itself, the OLG Stage is its own stand alone venue across the street, which means attendees need not enter the casino at all to attend a performance there.

Steve Miller – Songwriter and Storyteller

Steve Miller has been a monumental presence on the American music scene for more than half a century – and, in the course of that era, his releases have sold tens of millions of records and been streamed billions of times. Miller’s Greatest Hits 1974-78 received the RIAA Diamond Award with sales of more than fifteen million copies, and it is still among the 25 best-selling albums of all time.

While I may not have been a huge fan of his growing up, upon listening to the Greatest Hits compilation, I realized I knew way more songs that I thought I did. There are so many Top 40 radio-friendly classics that you’d be hard-pressed to not have heard of at least one. If you’re of a certain age, you’re likely to have heard his songs during road trips with the radio on, your parents record collection, bars and nightclubs, and even echoing out of mall speakers while you shop. 

Beginning his career during the politically volatile late 1960s era in the United States, he’s honed his skills as a storyteller, songwriter, and performer. From the moment he took the stage with his band and sprang into the opening notes of “Swingtown”, to closing the show with his timeless tune, “The Joker” (celebrating 50 years since its release), he kept the audience enthralled not only with his music but also with the sharing of his personal stories that have happened over the years.

Throughout the musical journey that Miller presents, he includes other fan favourties like “Take the Money and Run”,“Fly Like an Eagle,” “Jet Airliner,” “Jungle Love,” and “Abracadabra.” He also plays a 21-string sitar on “Dance, Dance, Dance” that he professed is made out of “simulated purple alligator skin.” He also paid tribute to Canada’s Gordon Lightfoot who passed away earlier this year, by ironically dedicating his 1960s political song, “Living In The USA” to him. Miller eventually left the stage smiling and waving, while the exuberant crowd stood and did the same, knowing they just experienced meticulous musicianship at its finest.

Miller is a true blues musician deep at heart, picking up skills at a young age in Texas, before eventually relocating to Chicago, where he played with Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, James Cotton and Paul Butterfield. He maintains his love for the blues by incorporating lesser known songs in this set list among the hits. Miller was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016 and into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2022. As well, Steve Miller on Steve Miller: A Blues and Rock and Roll Journey explores his own influences and the music they inspired. The next event takes place November 10th and 11th 2023 at the Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater in NYC.

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the release of The Joker with announcements regarding a celebration of this important moment in his career coming soon. You can view upcoming tour dates and more information here, and the full set list here.

More Than Gambling

Over the years, casino operations have often received a bad reputation for encouraging gambling, but that’s been rapidly changing over the years as casino properties diversify their offerings. While music fans don’t need to enter the casino itself to attend a performance at the OLG stage, it is worth checking out the property before of after a show as it offers much more than gambling. There are several onsite places to dine, shop, and you can even plan an overnight stay at the resort hotel. This vibrant resort property also features a nightclub, full-service spa, and fitness centre, Whether going for the day or overnight, be sure to leave time to take in the sights and sounds of Niagara Falls itself, including the bustling carnival like Clifton Hill that’s within easy walking distance from the casino.

Getting to Niagara Falls

With today’s non-stop traffic and construction woes, there are other options than driving for those living in the GTA. There’s regular GO service that even offers a $10 unlimited travel day pass on weekends ($15 for two days) that drops you off about a kilometre from the OLG Stage and downtown Niagara. Flixbus is another bus service offering regular direct routing between the two destinations, and Safeway Tours also has frequent daily service, with a portion of your ticket price being refunded to you in the form of a casino credit to be used for gaming at more than 3,000 slot machines and 130 gaming tables.

Click here for a list of upcoming events at the OLG Stage.






About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.