Concert Review: Delta Rae Prove Themselves a Musical Force to be Reckoned With

This world would be a better place if there were more people like Delta Rae in it. This became more apparent with each minute that they were on stage Thursday night as they played to a packed house at Nashville’s famous Exit/In, winning over the crowd with their music, energy and charm.

In an industry full of fancy screens and lighting effects, Delta Rae showed that simplicity and stage presence is all you need. With a simple backdrop and warm Edison light bulbs, Delta Rae took the stage with more energy than is typically present at most stadium shows. Brittany Hölljes and Elizabeth Hopkins owned the stage as they engaged the crowd with songs from the band’s recently-released EP, A Long and Happy Life.

They sang about their North Carolina roots in “I Moved South,” and had the crowd singing along to new track “Ain’t Love.” The crowd fed off of the band’s energy as group members danced around the stage with a contagious joy. Their movements were not calculated, but rather organic and carefree, making it impossible to miss the pure joy that performing and sharing their music brought them.

A few songs into the show, Delta Rae started to pull some tricks out of their hats, surprising the crowd with a cover of Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” that had everyone belting at the top of their lungs. The band showed their genuine love by calling attention to a very special audience member. During each show on their summer tour, Delta Rae has given tickets and meet and greet passes to teachers in the local communities through an initiative they started called “Tickets for Teachers.” The group paid special tribute to a teacher that night and led the crowd in a round of applause in her honor.

They slowed the mood down when members Brittany, Eric and Ian Hölljes and Elizabeth Thompson gathered around one microphone to sing a new track titled “No Peace In Quiet” off their recent EP. The song resonated with the crowd as Eric described the emotion and feelings that went into writing the lyrics about the empty feeling at the end of a relationship.

Their killer harmonies continued as they delivered a chilling performance of “Bottom of the River,” followed by a stripped down version of the single “All Good People.” The song was prefaced by addressing how racism in the United States can’t be ignored and how all good people need to take a stand and raise their voices against it. The message of the song and the mostly-a cappella performance resonated strongly with the audience. The band’s ability to communicate such a deep message and evoke such emotion amongst a crowd showed true artistry.

Throughout the show, the band’s personality shined in their performance. It was clearly apparent that this group is made up of individually talented artists that own their craft with more passion than most in the industry. While they are each so skilled individually, they possess a quality that’s pure magic when they all perform together. In addition to wonderful chemistry, they have a carefree, life-loving energy that is contagious in all the best ways.

One of the highlights of the show was the performance “The Wrong Ocean,” a song about chasing down a dream, even if that means returning back to your roots. The group’s love of their hometown of Durham, North Carolina, and their Southern roots rang true throughout the show.

The crowd went wild for the performance of “If I Loved You,” from Delta Rae’s album Carry The Fire. The positivity and goodwill that the band radiates shined especially in their closing number and current single “A Long and Happy Life.” In the past year, the song has been well received on Sirius XM and was a perfect ending to an exceptional night of music. The band had one more surprise in store as their encore began with a rendition of “Dance in the Graveyards” that transformed midway into a cover of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” leaving the crowd completely enamored with this ultra-talented group.

In a world filled with talented artists, Delta Rae has found a way to stand out from the pack. The talent and passion behind this dynamic group is both genuine and rare, and their sound is all their own. Delta Rae has a bright future ahead of them as they continue to carve out a niche for themselves in the music industry.

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