Will Guthro knew that it was now or never.
The 29-year-old decided at the last minute to make a sign for the Bryan Adams concert at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax on Wednesday night.
“I thought ‘There’s only a snowball’s chance in hell this is ever going to actually happen, but if I don’t make the sign it’ll definitely never happen,’” Guthro said in an interview Thursday morning.
During the show, Adams caught a glimpse of Guthro’s bright orange sign — ‘Bryan, can I please play guitar on Summer of ’69?’ — a few rows back from the front.
“I don’t know if he couldn’t quite read it or was hamming things up for the crowd, because the first thing he said was ‘What does that say, does that say can I stand on your guitar? No, you can’t stand on my guitar,’ or something like that,” recalled the Haligonian.
After being egged on by the audience, Guthro worked his way to the front, only to be shut down by Adams.
“He read the sign and said, ‘No way, I think everybody will enjoy it better if I play it,’” Guthro said.
The musician played You Belong To Me and the 29-year-old threw his sign, assuming he would find it later, and went off to dance.
‘OK, where’s my guitar guy?’
As Adams wrapped up the song, he called out “OK, where’s my guitar guy? Get up here.”
“I’m thinking no way, because I was completely content just to interact with him, then he asks me to come on stage,” said Guthro.
He made his way up on stage, was handed a guitar and received a warm welcome from the audience as he and the band kicked off Summer of ’69.
Guthro, who has been playing guitar since he was in Grade 9, had learned the hit early on in his music career.
“I haven’t really bothered with it in years, so I just tried to shake some of the rust off of it yesterday and remember how to play it and it paid off,” he said.
The last large crowd that Guthro played for was at the Cobequid Educational Centre variety show.
“So multiply that by five,” he said with a laugh. “But the band made me feel so comfortable and welcome up there. They were all phenomenal.”
After the show, fans approached Guthro to praise his performance and take pictures.
“The one thing I kept hearing consistently was that having a fellow fan on stage made the experience feel so much more immersive for them,” he said. “That’s the high point of this for me.”
Since, Guthro has been interacting with fans who have posted his performance on social media.
“I’m grateful that I got to do it,” he said.
“This is my first time seeing Bryan Adams and I would say it definitely won’t be my last.”