Thomas Wynn & The Believers at Martyrs in Chicago, IL

Thomas Wynn & The Believers return to the Chicago area, this time for a headlining show.

The last time Thomas Wynn & The Believers were in the Chicagoland area, they were opening for Myles Kennedy’s solo tour in a stripped down form with just Thomas and Olivia. This time it was their turn to take top spot on the line-up and this time they brought the whole band with them.

Fresh from their tour around the UK, these Southern rockers are back with some US dates. For those new to the band, siblings Thomas and Olivia’s vocals are very much at the forefront of their sound with their unbelievably tight harmonies reminiscent of the Eagles in their prime. The lyrics to their songs often evoke powerful images of broken relationships, regrets and time running out against a backdrop of small-town America. Each song is a self-contained story, the writing/format reminiscent of another American great, the late Tom Petty. When you add in the powerful and passionate delivery it really is the formula for a captivating live show. 

Front and center is Thomas, whose voice can effortlessly switch from a smooth soothing timbre to a passionate howl. The vocal line at the beginning of “Burn As One” shows off his voice at its best and has a very Robert Plant/Led Zeppelin feel to it. The guitar parts lay a solid platform for each song and in these days of guitarists using rafts of effects and changing guitars multiple times and during a live performance, Thomas sticks to the old school method. He uses one guitar for the full show and manages to coax every sound he needs from it, his amp and a few pedals. Be it bluesy chords on the edge of breaking up or flat out rock riffs, he truly pulls out some fantastic tones throughout the night. Olivia’s voice is a massive part of the sound and perfectly compliments Thomas’, its clear that these two have been singing together for a large part of their lives. The range of Olivia’s voice is incredible and she has the knack of making it look effortless whilst clearly being immersed in the performance. 

Whilst it was great to see Thomas and Olivia perform the songs as a stripped back duo earlier this year, seeing the full band (including Dave Wagner, Ryan Miranda, and Colin Fei) perform obviously allows you to truly appreciate the songs as they were recorded. Clearly, a lot of work went into the arrangement of every track and each member of the band brings something to the table. Ryan and Dave provide a rock solid foundation throughout the night and a special mention goes to Colin whose work on keys adds a real ambiance to the songs. He also gets the chance to stretch out on a few of the songs trading some impressive solos with Thomas on guitar.     

As the set draws to a close the audience can be in no doubt that they have seen a band whose star is on the rise. Perhaps one of the greatest compliments that you can pay them is that their cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City.” fits so seamlessly with the rest of the set that you could be forgiven for thinking it was one of their own songs.

With only a few confirmed live shows remaining in 2018, you should check the band’s website / social media and make a date to see them perform if they are coming to your town.

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About Kirstine Walton 383 Articles
Kirstine moved from the UK to Chicago in 2011, and has fallen in love with the city and its music scene. She enjoys combining her two biggest passions – music and photography. If there is a band with a guitar playing, chances are she’ll be there…camera in hand. Kirstine went to her first live concert at 7 years old, and hasn’t looked back since!

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