Delta Rae returned to the Brooklyn Arts Center on Thursday, March 26, to open their After It All tour. On the road relentlessly in support of their first album, Carry the Fire, the ensemble took a much-needed rest as 2014 came to a close. Now, after nearly six months, they’re back on tour with a bigger sound than ever before.
The band’s new album, After It All, hit the shelves on April 7. This time around, Delta Rae captures the inspiration of the American Southwest landscape with adventurous, urgent songs like “Run” and “Chasing Twisters,” upbeat, powerful anthems like “Bethlehem Steel,” and beautiful ballads like “Cold Day In Heaven” and the album’s title track, “After It All.”
Delta Rae played all their new songs and plenty of classic material from their first album, including “If I Loved You” and “Bottom of the River,” and everyone in the crowd, hundreds of fans, sang every word.
For this tour, the band has added two new members of the team: lighting director Alexandra Gagnon, and talented violinist, Claire Wellin. “We’ve never had either of those two elements before, so it’s very much a show now,” says Liz Hopkins, one of four incredibly talented singers that front the band. “It’s more of a visual and emotional experience, compared to only a sound experience, which is what we’ve been delivering in the past. I’m very proud of what we’ve been doing, but it’s great to have a stage show that can visually match the emotional landscape that our songs are traversing.”
Looking around the big and beautiful Brooklyn Arts Center, Hopkins said “the acoustics of a church are always amazing, so it’s such a treasure to sing and to hear our harmonies in this type of building because they don’t really make buildings like this anymore.”
With that thought in mind, the band paused midway through the show to take advantage of the BAC’s incredible acoustics and performed one song, “Any Better Than This,” utterly unplugged. Ian Hölljes—writer, singer, guitarist, and one of three siblings in the band—took center stage as lead vocalist while the rest of Delta Rae backed him up with hypnotic harmonies. The crowd went crazy. It was, without a doubt, one of the show’s highlights.
Since the three, Delta Rae Hölljes siblings, Ian, Eric, and Brittany, were raised in Durham, it made perfect sense to begin this tour in North Carolina. “There are fans who saw us play four years ago at a popsicle store—just unplugged outside,” Hopkins says. “There are fans who’ve been with us since the first day, and it means so much to us that they chose to stay with us on this adventure and to follow us.”
After their BAC fans brought them back to the stage for a well-deserved encore, the ensemble covered “Chandelier” by Sia to close the show, leaving everyone in the church with the same thought: we can’t wait to see them again!