Paper Lions gives 12-year-old a chance to be a rock star

Not many 12-year-olds can boast they've been on stage with a bona fide rock band, but P.E.I.'s Braydon Gautreau did just that when he sang and played guitar with Paper Lions.

'My mind was going crazy,' Braydon Gautreau says of his concert experience

Talented 12-year-old performs with Paper Lions

7 years ago
Duration 1:35
Braydon Gautreau recently got the chance to hit the stage with popular P.E.I. band Paper Lions.

How many 12-year-old boys can say they've performed in front of 500 screaming fans?

P.E.I.'s Braydon Gautreau did just that at a recent concert by popular Island band Paper Lions.

Braydon Gautreau got to perform the song Travelling with Paper Lions. (CBC)

"I was just thinking that, 'This can't be real. Is this happening? I'm not sure.' My mind was going crazy," Braydon said.

His mom Kerry Gautreau was in the front row.

"The reception was phenomenal," she said.

"The people were oohing and aahing and clapping and screaming. It just brought tears to our eyes. We couldn't believe that was our little guy up there. He's 12. It's just been quite a ride."

I heard this little voice, and I thought, 'Wow, this sounds really nice.'- David Cyrus MacDonald, drummer for Paper Lions

It's a ride that started at a very young age for Braydon.

"We have stories from his kindergarten teachers about him playing in the corner and singing Hey Jude when he was five. When he was in Grade 3, he sang in a talent contest and played guitar at his school."

Started busking in Charlottetown

Braydon said, "I liked to sing a lot when I was little. I just didn't take it as seriously. But when I started to get compliments that I could sing, I decided to add it to guitar, and thought, 'This is something I could like.'"

Kerry Gautreau said she couldn't believe it was her son on stage. (CBC)

A couple of years ago, Braydon started busking on Charlottetown streets. This summer he got a job playing every Friday during the lunch hour on Victoria Row.

The tip jar never had less than $100 by the end of the day, and the crowds were very supportive.

Paper Lions drummer David Cyrus MacDonald just happened to be in the crowd one day.

"I heard this little voice, and I thought, 'Wow, this sounds really nice.' So I walked over to the stage and saw Braydon up there singing and sounding great. He just looked like a little rock star up there."

He was the kind of rock star Paper Lions decided they wanted in their show on Saturday, one they were recording live to DVD.

'Words, guitar, words, guitar'

The band contacted Braydon and asked if he'd perform their song Travelling — easily the band's most popular tune.

"Not many people my age have the opportunity to do that, especially for Paper Lions, the big band that they are," said Braydon.

David Cyrus MacDonald, Paper Lions' drummer, first heard Braydon performing on Victoria Row. (CBC)

"I was pretty much thinking in my head, 'OK, words, guitar, words, guitar, words, guitar, non-stop,'" he said.

MacDonald said the crowd was getting excited, and they didn't even know what was coming.

"And then, him starting to play our most popular song and people getting excited and singing along – it was so satisfying to see that come together," MacDonald said.

Although Braydon said his time on stage was an "awesome experience," he doesn't think he wants to perform every day because it would "be too stressful."


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