Concert Review: SayWeCanFly @ Hamburg

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 “Now get ready for an emotional rollercoaster” was what support act Jan Salander said before leaving the stage in Hamburg, Germany last Wednesday night. And he was absolutely right. Singer/songwriter Braden Barrie, who goes by the stage name “SayWeCanFly” has been making music for quite some time now. With heartwarming honesty, a magnificent singing voice, a talent for songwriting and a YouTube channel at hand, it was just a matter of time before people had to stop and notice. As they did, until the waves the young Canadian was making were big enough to reach fans overseas, which was also the case at the show on Wednesday.

If anyone ever doubted the talent and passion Braden puts into his music or how much he cares about the people who find joy and comfort in his songs, those doubts should be gone by the end of this tour, as the Storyteller Unplugged Tour is truly something special. Everyone who gets a ticket is provided with a free poster, a digital version of an exclusive tour EP as well as the opportunity of a meet & greet after the show. If that isn’t enough, there are VIP upgrades available which include early entry, a pizza party as well as a short private set before the show. But that wasn’t all: After playing the first two opening songs, your typical concert situation turned into a hangout session with Braden unplugging his guitar and sitting down off stage with his audience for the remainder of the set.

From the “old stuff” like “Your Heart Was No Place For A Monster Like Me”, “Love Note For A Rainy Day” and “Seventeen” and all the way to “I Didn’t Know” and “The Chase” from the latest SayWeCanFly album “Blessed Are Those”, everyone in the room was taken on a travel through time with a stop at every important moment or release in Braden’s life as a musician, of course also including fan favorites such as “Scars” and “The Art Of Anesthesia”. To top that off, the audience got to witness a new upbeat and so far unreleased song (featuring Braden’s friend and tour companion Aaron Miller) and even a cover of The Weeknd’s “Starboy” made its way onto the setlist and was greeted with just as much enthusiasm as the rest of the songs.

Halfway through the set, Braden took a break from playing to open up the conversation and have a small Q&A session in between, whereas the topics varied between facts about Canada, questions about music and songwriting as well as video game preferences. Yet the most remarkable thing about the night was probably the amount of raw emotion present in the room. The laid-back vibe and the lack of distance (both literally and emotionally) made for a safe and cozy overall atmosphere, the kind you get when sipping your tea or hot chocolate in front of a fireplace during winter. Plus, no matter whether one knew every single word, some or even none of the lyrics, song after song Braden managed to convey every last bit of emotion solely through the means of his voice which is something not a lot of artists are capable of to this extent. He then ended his performance with his most popular song “Intoxicated I Love You” which had the entire room singing and formed the perfect close to an awesome set.

But the night wasn’t over just yet, as the room cleared out and the center of attention shifted towards the merch table where Braden went on to patiently meet and talk to everyone and did not move until all the people who wanted to meet him, get something signed or take a photo got what they wanted. That being said, if you ever get the opportunity to meet this guy: take it. Because what you will get in return is an open, honest and genuine conversation with one of the kindest people I have ever met.

After another stop in Berlin, Germany, the European leg of the Storyteller Tour has come to a close, but if you are from the US, there is a whole bunch of tour dates for you starting next month, so you know where to be! (You can check out the tour dates here.)

We were also fortunate enough to have a little interview with Braden which will be with you soon!

Written by Theresa Theuerkauf
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