Delta Rae at the Varsity – 3/31/2016


North Carolina’s Delta Rae guitarist Ian Hölljes recently said in an interview “We’ve always been a band without a genre, an army without a country.” Well the band may not be easily nailed down as folk or country, but their shows are certainly energetic, unique and very entertaining. Their spring tour brought them to Minneapolis’ Varsity Theatre Thursday night.

Opening for them was Chris Bathgate who release a new EP “Old Factory” earlier this year. His solo act, a man, his guitar, a drum and some loop pedals was interesting to watch. His songs may be quiet at heart but he infuses them with loops and elevates them. One of his songs showed of his early music days as heavy metal musicians with almost AC/DC like guitar riffs. He also delivered a masterful Etta James cover.

Delta Rae stage set up is built around their vocalists who take turns on lead vocals. Starting with “Hitch a Ride” the band got the crowd into it in a heartbeat. Not that much encouragement was needed. The six-piece band has garnered quite the dedicated following in the Twin Cities. They are working on their 3rd album and played several new songs. Most of their set displayed the energy level their live shows are known for, but they also slowed down a bit for songs like “Morning comes” they dedicated to the father of the 3 sibling band members. The new songs sounded great and made me look forward to their new album. My personal favorite was “Outlaws”. Overall a great evening with one of my favorite live bands.

Set List: Hitch a Ride / Chasing Twisters / Morning Comes / Hurts Like This / Outlaws / Do You Ever Dream / John The Revelator ([traditional] cover) / Scared / I Will Never Die / Rhiannon (Fleetwood Mac cover) / You Can Tell / Pay No Rent / If I Loved You / All Good People / Moved Down South / Bottom of the River  Encore: Dance in the Graveyards / I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Whitney Houston cover)