Best Irony-Crushing Earnestness: Delta Rae
"This is a Christian band, right?" a gent in a neon Cool Story Bro tank asked us urgently. "They have to be." He said this just as the singer-guitarist Ian Holljes let out a roaring "We're so fucking excited to be here," complicating the case, but the question was understandable: Throughout their set, Delta Rae projected a freshly-scrubbed enthusiasm bordering on Ned Flanders levels of earnestness. ("We live together in a house in the woods," cried singer Brittany Holljes at one point. "It's great!") The North Carolina folk-poppers led a stomping, stirring a capella take on "Bottom of the River," a single from 2012's Carry the Fire, but it was a cover of "Because the Night" (written by Bruce Springsteen and Chi-town native Patti Smith) that most roused their audience — and was delivered by singers Holljes and Elizabeth Hopkins with beaming smiles, of course.