Sara and I last saw the Canadian rocker 15 years ago, at Wembley Arena in London during our junior year abroad. This time around, Bryan was accompanied only by a guitar and, on some songs, the talented pianist from his band, Gary Briet.
Though our seats were in the rear balcony section, thanks to the Beacon’s transformative $10 million renovation, we could hear every note of Bryan’s beautifully raw acoustic sounds.
The singer really connected with the crowd, revealing a comedic wit and great gift for storytelling. My favorite tales were two about the beauty and bite of the Big Apple.
Prior to one of his Madison Square Garden gigs, Bryan got stuck in the Village, unable to find a cab. He ended up on the subway, only to find himself alongside a bunch of fans heading to the concert. One noticed him -- then discreetly guided Bryan in the right direction when he wasn’t sure how to get to MSG.
During another underground occasion, the singer asked a fellow straphanger for directions to SoHo.
“What, you can’t read?” was his response.
A six-song encore delivered even more of Bryan’s best -- including “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?” and “Straight From The Heart.” He closed out the show with the “Three Musketeers“ tune “All For Love.”More than once during the concert, Bryan spoke with great affection for Gotham, saying--
“I love New York.”
The feeling is more than mutual.
Bryan’s US tour continues through mid-May. For more info, visit his official website.