Last night I saw Diana Rein and Anthony Gomes at Fitzgerald’s in Berwyn. Yes, Berwyn. At first I was hesitant to go. I love their music – I’d featured Diana a few weeks ago, and had met Anthony last year and became an instant fan – but it was cold, I had a ton of work to do, and it was in Berwyn.
I changed my mind because both of them emailed me and asked if I was going to be there. How do you say no to that? I knew also that I would be thrilled that I went and would beat myself up if I didn’t. In one of those signs that says you’ve made the right choice, within five minutes of my arrival I started chatting with a woman who just happened to be one of my newsletter subscribers!
Diana took the stage accompanied by Ted Wulfers (a wonderful musician that I hope to feature soon). They may have played acoustically, but she was electric. Her voice is clear and powerful. Before each song she told an anecdote, so we gained an intimate sense of the woman herself.
Anthony came on with his New Soul Cowboys and I didn’t stop dancing the entire time. He played some blues, but the emphasis was on southern rock. His gravelly voice gives his songs an earthy quality and his guitar playing is reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughn. As he played he would get these animated looks on his face that made me feel like I was witnessing something best left behind closed doors. The band was, simply put, amazing. I’d watch Dylan St. John play the keyboards and just shake my head. Peter Lang’s drum solo was energetic and exciting and I found myself drawn closer and closer to the stage so I could see his stick work. David Karns played the bass, and I gotta tell ya’, there’s just something about the bass and bass players. They’re just so cool and funky and make me want to do bad things.
Near the middle of their second set I turned to the man dancing next to me and said “Twelve dollars.” He shook his head and said “I know. Gee, maybe I should have gone to see a movie,” and we both laughed. Diana took the stage around 9:30pm, Anthony finished around 1:30am with a quick break between acts and one set break. Three and a half hours of incredible music for less than a movie and popcorn.
Granted, there is that whole issue that they were in Berwyn. Sounds like it’s ages away, doesn’t it? Like maybe halfway to Iowa or Wisconsin or over the border in Indiana. It’s actually just south of Oak Park. It took me all of 10 minutes from the circle to the Austin exit and I was doing the speed limit. The woman I met early on said it took her an hour using public transportation from Lincoln Park.
She goes to Fitzgerald’s fairly frequently because of the quality of performers they host and the feel of the bar itself, and I can see why. The sound system was great, the drinks were cheap, the people were friendly, and I hung my coat on the coat rack near the door with no fear that it would be hoisted.
So, thanks Diana & Anthony, for pulling me out into the cold winter night and warming me up with your passion and your music.
Fitzgerald’s, 6615 W Roosevelt Rd, Berwyn