Saturday, March 8, 2014

Delta Rae Energizes Lincoln Theatre

The Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh was overflowing with anxious music fans that lined the walls, cascaded up the stairs, and encircled the balcony.  The anticipation was high for the American folk rock band, Delta Rae, to play in their hometown once again.  Looking around the venue, there was no doubt this group has loyal fans and strong support.

The six-piece band enters the stage, wearing all black, and breaks into "Morning Comes".  Energy exudes
from the group and the crowd yells with excitement and sings along with the band. Following their opening songs, the group welcomed the audience and expressed their excitement to be home and playing where their success began. 

One thing becomes very clear when watching Delta Rae on stage, there is a complete absence of rock star ego.  One member does not try to overshadow another member; in fact, they take turns spotlighting one another, rotating around mics and instruments, so that everyone has a chance to share their talent.

It's rare for a band to have four primary vocalists, but this is what makes Delta Rae stand out from other bands. Siblings Ian, Eric, and Brittany Holljes take on the singing responsibilities along with longtime friend, Liz Hopkins.  Grant Emerson supports the vocals on the bass and Mike McKee provides the drums.  These moments prove that band rapport has a lot to do with the success of Delta Rae; the six of them together make perfect musical soul mates.

The night takes a haunting twist as the words, "Hold my hand, it's a long way down to the bottom of the river" echo through the building.  "Bottom of the River" is a percussionist's dream with sounds of rattling chains, booming bass drum beats, and intense bluesy vocals.

In the middle of the show, the band takes it down a few notches with the heartbreaking song, "If I Loved You".  This power ballad about unrequited love is sung by Liz with her raspy roar, filled with pure depth and emotion.  She takes center stage for this piece and the crowd is immersed in every second of the performance because Liz isn't singing to the crowd, she's singing with them.  "If I Loved You" is a different type of love song because it describes love lost through the heart breaker's eyes, rather than the heartbroken.

The show could not possibly end without playing "Dance in the Graveyards".  Encores are supposed to leave the audience wanting more and this performance does just that.  This song is all about keeping those we have lost with us at all times; not to mourn them, but to celebrate and allow them to live through our own lives. The energy builds both on stage and in the crowd with this percussion-heavy piece.  The crowd sings along and dances with the powerful bass drums.  Delta Rae makes their appreciation known through their respect for the crowd and each other and the show ends with a strong positive vibe. 

Throughout the show, Delta Rae shared several new songs with the crowd, announcing that they are currently working on the their new album and that it's been a "painstaking process".  The pain will no doubt be well worth it for the band's success and for the fans who simply can't get enough of what Delta Rae has to offer.

If given the opportunity, be sure to see Delta Rae live. Their music sounds amazing at all times, but seeing the them  come alive on stage takes it to a new level.  The energy of these six people playing and singing together cannot be easily matched and one show will turn you into a lifelong fan of this local success. Stay up to date with all things Delta Rae by visiting their website

Check out the official video for "Bottom of the River" featuring the Phi Beta Sigma Step Team:

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