Delta Rae is my “new” favorite band. I’ve known about them for several years and thoroughly appreciated them for a year or so, but my “old” favorite band was my favorite for, like, 20 years and they haven’t even existed as a unit since 2009. (That band would be the Ed Kowalczyk-fronted Live, by the way. Great name, but incredibly confusing and nearly impossible to Google effectively.) Delta Rae needs to be the “new” favorite for at least as long as Live has been dead (ha ha) before I can drop the qualifier, I suppose.

Anyway! Ever since the show at the Varsity in Minneapolis last April, I have been seeking tickets  and following updates with great anticipation as they prepare a new album. Kind of randomly, I checked their website last night. TOUR DATES! New album April 7!

April 25th and 28th are sorted for me, as far as I’m concerned. Madison, WI the 25th, Minneapolis the 28th. All I need now is to figure out how to come up with the money for tickets before they’re sold out, and then the money to actually go. And figure out who’s going with me. I suppose I could go alone, but what kind of fun would that be?

In case you’re wondering why I would do sixteen hours of driving in the course of four days to see the same band on the same tour twice… They’re worth it. The band gives an absolutely phenomenal live performance. After you’ve experienced them live, the recordings are actually sort of lackluster in comparison. Don’t get me wrong – the recordings are wonderful in their own right. They’re simply overshadowed by Delta Rae’s fantastic stage presence and energy.  Watching them have fun with their own music makes it that much more fascinating while you’re there, as well as when you’re listening to it elsewhere. The singers don’t just stand there and sing, they interact with the sound and the audience, they switch instruments and make instruments out of everything (Chain in a garbage can lid? So cool.), and truly demonstrate how versatile and talented they are as an entire group.

When I saw them in Minneapolis, there was really only one song that I knew, (The obvious one, I suppose – “Bottom of the River” – which Olin is still a little obsessed about and I actually took off my iTunes playlist so I could tell him honestly that I didn’t have it on there anymore…) but I was so impressed by the rest of the set that I immediately went home and started looking for more tickets and information. I was extremely excited to find them playing again in Des Moines, IA in July. I was particularly excited about hearing a song they had played in Minneapolis about the steel mills in Bethlehem, PA. I don’t know what it’s called or ‘how it goes’, I just remember that I loved it on first hearing, and was sad that it wasn’t available. They didn’t play the song again in that set, but they were nevertheless and once again the best live performance I have ever seen.

Wooly’s (the venue) happened to be next to a bar/vintage arcade called Up/Down that I spent some time in after the show. (How genius is that? A bar and an arcade together. Why didn’t I think of that?) Upon leaving, I ran across Elizabeth on the sidewalk and proceeded to make a complete fool of myself by thinking her name was Lindsey Buckingham and inarticulately explaining that I loved the band and so did my special needs son, who was obsessed with “Bottom of the River”. I happened to have bright crayola red hair at the time, so was probably that much more memorable for being silly. Anyway.

[Why on Earth did I think she was Lindsey Buckingham? Specifically because the video for “If I Loved You”, which she leads to great advantage, says “Delta Rae featuring Lindsey Buckingham” and I had no reference at the time for him as a guitarist, so I figured that was a girl’s name, it must be her.]  If I ever get a chance to speak to her again, I am seriously going to apologize. *headdesk*.

My favorite songs are, in order:

I Will Never Die (Lance thinks this song belongs on the radio: I concur.) – I have some pet theories about what the lyrics might mean that are maybe a little nutty, but I thought my Manderly’s Pies theory was nutty, too. Since you asked, the lyrics to the chorus are:

Old heat of a raging fire
Come and light my eyes
Summer’s kiss to electric wire
But I’ll never die

What does that mean? I thought about it and listened and listened again to the nature and magic and conviction of the rest of the song…  Summer’s kiss to electric wire… That’s heat, right? What does electric wire have to do with anything else in the song? Well, I suppose that a raging fire would be summer’s kiss, and it being applied to your person would certainly light your eyes. It has to be lethal somehow, because she insists repeatedly that she’ll never die.  I decided that it was the final thoughts of a convict who either is about to or already has been executed via the electric chair. Considering that the Delta Rae song that initially captured my interest is essentially about ritualistically drowning your firstborn son (and don’t think I miss the irony of it being my firstborn son’s favorite song), I don’t think it’s too much of a leap to draw the electric chair execution meaning out of that.

Dance in the Graveyards and Morning Comes – I don’t have quite as many pet theories about these two. They’re pretty straightforward lyrically, but I absolutely love the hope that is conveyed in both of them. When my father died, Dance in the Graveyards developed a new level of meaning for me personally, but I loved it for the joy in mourning that it called for, even before that.

That Bethlehem Steel song is going to be on the list, if I ever get to hear it again…. I just know it.

Despite the danger of sounding like a stalkery fangirl, I’m really inspired to write them a letter, now. Maybe just an e-mail. Hmm. Wait, never mind, no e-mail for contact. Ah, well.

Late-Breaking News: Dude, the Bethlehem Steel song is on YouTube! It wasn’t, the last time I tried to check. Hah! That just made my day.

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