Talented folk-rockers put on show for the ages in Evanston venue

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By Amaris Rodriguez

Saturday night at The S.P.A.C.E in Evanston, IL an up and coming folk rock group took the stage and delivered one of the best live sets I have been privileged to witness. Delta Rae, composed of siblings Brittany, Eric and Ian Holljes, Liz Hopkins, Grant Emerson and Mike McKee have found a unique style that is setting them apart from other musicians with a folk rock sound. This group of talented musicians have been able to not only capture that sound and energy in their albums, with the release of Chasing Twisters in 2013, but also into their performances.

When Delta Rae took the stage on Saturday night the venue came alive. They started off with an intro that consisted of parts of their song “Dance in The Graveyards” and then transitioned into “Run” both off of their Chasing Twisters album. As someone who had not been exposed to their music before, I was instantly drawn in as Brittany and Liz danced around while singing. Their unbelievable stage presence drew in the crowd from the beginning and held on to them until the end of the show.  

Their second song, “Better off Alone” was sweetly dedicated to the single people in the audience which was met with whistles and applauses. The song allowed Ian’s vocals to shine and showcased that every singing member of Delta Rae can hold their own. “Morning Comes” followed with the crowd dancing and singing along.

When Delta Rae performed “Bottom of the River” the crowd went insane. One of their most popular songs, “Bottom of the River” had the audience stomping and bouncing to the rhythm of the drums and sounds of chains that play throughout the song. Brittany mesmerized the crowd with the haunting vocals and gave an experience that came across very natural and primal which is rare to find at a concert.

To follow that, the band performed a cover of the hit Bruce Springsteen song “Because the Night”. Perfectly played and sang, the cover song could have passed for an original to anyone who had never heard of it.

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As a surprise to the crowd, the band went off mic to sing a brand new song. As the crowd silences Eric Holljes began singing “Doesn’t Get Any Better than This”. As Eric sang lead the rest of Delta Rae added amazing harmonies to back him up that blended together like something I had never heard before. After providing amazing vocal harmonies, the rest of the band left the stage as Ian Holljes sang “We All Want Love”. Accompanying himself on the piano, Ian sang the ballad beautifully delivering what is sure to be a hit for the Delta Rae.

For one of the best performed songs of the night, Liz Hopkins took the lead as she sang “Chasing Twisters”. A strong, powerful performance was clearly delivered with that song and really captivated the spirit and energy that composes Delta Rae. After “Chasing Twisters”, the group performed “Surrounded” and once again didn’t fail to deliver a great performance.

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