On a cold, rainy winter night New Jersey native Dana Fuchs belted out a powerful show on the intimate main stage of Auburn's Public Theater. It was a great event to kick off the 2019 season strong, and proof that blues is indeed, "alive and well".
Nobody can cover a Otis Redding song like Dana Fuchs. Although her set list was filled with the covers that everybody loves, including 'Helter Skelter,' and an impressive acoustic version of 'Ring of Fire', the night was also filled with Dana's own material. Of course, the night wasn't complete without the wonderful work done by every musician in her band that each had their own spotlight throughout the night.
As temperatures began to plummet across the nation, they finally began to rise the past few days resulting in a mixture of rain and sleet this past Saturday night when Dana graced the stage at Auburn's Public Theater.
"I listened to one of her songs on Youtube, and it only took the one to make me buy tickets to this show," proclaimed a happy older concert goer in the crowd. Indeed, while the crowd were mostly in their 40s and 50s, that didn't stop them from shouting out gleeful and some times hilarious comments throughout the night, which was surprisingly one of the highlights of the show. It was a great show, and you could tell Dana was loving it.
Before Dana came on stage, Oswego native Mark Wahl, who also runs the Oswego Music Hall, opened up the gig. It was good just hearing a guy sing and have an acoustic guitar because the acoustics in the Auburn Music Hall were simply amazing with a state of the art sound system. You could hear a pin drop at all times throughout the night it was so crystal clear, and that's how all smaller sized music halls should be. Mark's show was full of energy, and you can tell he loves playing his own songs just like Dana does. One of the best songs of his set was of course the one being about weather and a cold stormy night, one that every Upstate New Yorker can identify with.
At 9pm, Dana and her band graced the stage, and from the moment they came on to the time they left an hour and 45 minutes later, they didn't let up. However, this was one performance where it wasn't just about the lead front woman. Every member of the band was simply incredible in his own way, each having their own solos and adding their unique styles to the group.
Despite the funny comments, Dana became extremely emotional by the end of the night as she performed and described most of her songs. It's always a wonderful experience when artists show real emotion, and you feel like you know them or they can even be a fellow friend, which is what Dana appeared to be with the hundred or so lucky blues fans that got to see her play Saturday night.
Dana's voice was by far the highlight of the evening, and even though she's pushing 50 years of age, she can still hit high and low notes perfectly well. She had extremely great vocals during 'Callin Angels,' 'Backstreets' and 'Sittin' On'. Her voice and vocals equaled out her beauty and shows that Dana has no time of stopping any time soon.
The concert wasn't perfect, and Dana did miss a few notes here and there, but over all it was a tremendous time and well worth battling the miserable Upstate New York weather in order to attend.
All photos by Leo Pareti: