Posted November 3, 2015 by Allison Keeney in Show Reviews

Delta Rae // 10-22-15 // Aladdin Theater

20151022DeltaRae1American folk rock band Delta Rae was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd at the Aladdin Theater on the West Coast leg of their tour in support of their second album, After It All, released earlier this year.

The six-person band hails from Durham, North Carolina and consists of three siblings, Ian, Eric and Brittany Hölljes, as well as Elizabeth Hopkins, Mike McKee and Grant Emerson, who all share equal roles playing unique instruments and singing powerful, harmonizing vocals. Combined, they create a soulful, uplifting sound that feels classic and fresh all at the same time.

Underlit trees and a layer of haze created a pleasant, mysterious atmosphere where they performed most of the songs on their new record, including “Outlaws,” “Bethlehem Steel,” and their hit singles “Run” and “Chasing Twisters.” Delta Rae’s lead vocals are shared between the two distinct-sounding, belting beauties, Hopkins and Hölljes as well both Hölljes brothers.

The most memorable moment of the night was  “My Whole Life Long,” a beautiful love song followed by “If I Loved You,” off of their first album, Carry The Fire, a song about no longer loving someone. Ian Hölljes pointed out the irony of playing such opposite songs back to back, but the band decided to keep the set as is because “people do have a choice,” presumably meaning the choice not to love someone anymore.

About half way through the set the band took a moment to speak out about the Black Lives Matter movement which they explained hit close to home for them after the Charleston church shooting and inspired them to write “All Good People,” a hauntingly beautiful song which begins with an acapella verse before adding stark and somber instrumentation.

The band ended the evening with their biggest hit to date, “Bottom of the River,” which evokes gospel and bluesy rock with intense percussion (chains and drumstick solos) and a chanting, folkloric feel. Portland fans cheered them back onstage where they performed a gorgeous rendition of “Chandelier” by Sia followed by their final, very October-appropriate “Dance in the Graveyard.”

There are a lot of stimuli for the senses to absorb at a live Delta Rae Show, and it’s safe to say that their performance at the Aladdin Theater will be well remembered.

Allison Keeney



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