Delta Rae’s “A Long and Happy Life” tour ended in Charleston at the Music Farm with an incredible opening from Liz Longley. The seemingly light crowd waited patiently until 8 o’clock when we were greeted by the cute and quirky Liz Longley. She had everyone falling in love with her heartfelt lyrics and guitar strums from the very first song, “Memphis,” and the rest of her set revealed her depth, humor, and character. Liz shared with us bits and pieces of her hard breakup that inspired “Weightless,” her more popular song on her newest album, a song about giving up both the material and immaterial aspects of her relationship and starting over on her own. She enchanted the local crowd with “You Haunt Me,” a song about a ghost in Charleston inspired by her stay at one of the very many spooky old hotels here. She opened up about a conversation she had with a friend about near-death experiences and what people do differently in life if they get a second chance, and she would “Only Love this Time Around.” At one point, Liz blanked on what was next in her set, and so a fan in the crowd suggested “Dough 4 Dough,” her one and only rap song she had to turn in for songwriting class in college, a super charming song about selling Girl Scout cookies — definitely a crowd favorite. A songwriting genius, she let us all get to know her — the crowd vibed instantly with her stripped-down, genuine passion shown through her body language and strong lyrics. One thing is for sure: Liz Longley is lovely, raw, and “weightless — on top of the world.”
Delta Rae stepped one by one onto the stage — each with a presence and talent all their own — making a powerful sextet of siblings and friends that have seemingly become a family in their love for songwriting. Their set was made up of beautiful songs — most upbeat, some heartbreaking, but all incredibly personal and energized. They could feel it in their bodies as they opened their mouths till their veins popped, spun around with the happiest smiles on their faces, clapped their hands, and jumped to the beat. The crowd couldn’t help but join in. Delta Rae opened with “I Moved South,” a song about how they all moved together to North Carolina “where the music moves [them]” to write songs. A sweet song they sang, “Ain’t Love,” embraces the idea that it “ain’t love till it hurts like this”— a down-to-earth, genuine representation of what falling in love is really like. One of the songs that was particularly saddening was “No Peace and Quiet,” a song written by one of the male members about his terrible breakup with his ex that he admitted was his fault. Unable to sing his own story without breaking, one of the female leads sang it so beautifully and gave the crowd chills as four of the singers gathered around a stand-up mic to harmonize together in the low lighting. The group then took pause to talk about the “Tickets for Teachers” movement that they support, as they believe teachers are “America’s unsung heroes.” The crowd cheered, and they continued cheering as Delta Rae went into “Run,” one of their more popular songs. They brought out the violin, chains, dark lighting, and blowing air for a more dramatic effect, and it was absolutely incredible — the crowd sang along to every word.
On a more serious note, they sang songs about growing up religiously confused, how good people need to speak up against what is wrong (in current relevance to the white supremacist events), and how life is really, really hard, but you’ve always got to have hope. Delta Rae ended with “A Long and Happy Life,” by far my favorite song of the night. They convinced us all that “we were born to live a long and happy life” in this beautiful world as they danced all over the stage and threw their heads back to fully deliver and embrace the song in the moment. Maybe it was because it was their last show on their tour, but they were all radiating with a wild joy unlike any I’d seen performed before. I went home happy.