Friday, May 8, 2015

Live review: Delta Rae, Neighborhood Theatre (5/8/2015)

Posted By on Fri, May 8, 2015 at 3:50 PM

Delta Rae with Greg Holden
Neighborhood Theatre
May 8, 2015
click to enlarge Delta Rae
  • Delta Rae
The biggest fear I had after hearing Delta Rae's new album, After It All, was that the Durham band had polished everything up too much and had lost its rootsy appeal for its live show. Perhaps a bit of fame had gone to the sextet's collective head and put them in the mood for arena rock instead of staying grounded and doing what they do best. 

All of those preoccupations fell by the wayside in short order on Thursday night as Delta Rae proved they haven't lost a step in their live show. The band played a mix of material from After It All and the band's 2012 debut, Carry the Fire, all of which fit seamlessly together.

The band was a mass of constant motion on stage — switching instruments, shuffling positions, welcoming opener Greg Holden to join them for a cover of Tom Petty's "Wildflowers" — and it was never a distraction. Too often bands change up instruments or places on stage and it causes a lull in the performance; however, Delta Rae managed to make it look effortless and never lost a beat. 
click to enlarge Delta Rae
  • Delta Rae
For "Any Better Than This," the band circled one lone microphone in the middle of the stage for a generally a capella version of the song. While Elizabeth Hopkins and Brittany Holljes handle most of the singing duties, the band's four-part harmonies are church-worthy.

They stripped down Sia's "Chandelier" to its bare bones for the encore and quickly changed moods from a somber "Bottom of the River" with sparse lighting to the upbeat show-closer "Dance in the Graveyard," which included a bit of Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance with Somebody." The addition of violinist Claire Wellin for this tour was an added sonic bonus, as well. 
click to enlarge Greg Holden
  • Greg Holden
Holden's singer-songwriter set included the song "Home," which he wrote but was made famous by Phillip Phillips. 

Delta Rae could undoubtedly turn off potential fans with their polished studio efforts, but when they hit the stage, the sweat pours down, the musicianship shines and the band can easily win over the audience as a whole. Let's hope those strong roots never weather.
click to enlarge Delta Rae
  • Delta Rae
The Dream
Morning Comes
Chasing Twisters
Any Better Than This
Dead End Road
I Will Never Die> Rhiannon
My Whole Life Long
If I Loved You
After It All
Bottom of the River

Dance in the Graveyards> I Wanna Dance With Somebody

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