Review: Ria Mae lights up stage, hearts in Fredericton

Ria Mae's recent performance in Fredericton had the room filled with a cacophony of voices, as if we were in church and the crowd was the choir. (Johnny James/AQ)

One of Atlantic Canada’s musical gems stopped by to pay Fredericton locals an awaited visit. Halifax-born Ria Mae took to the stage at the Delta Marriot Hotel on March 11 to host the second half of her Stars tour to promote her newest EP of the same name.

She opened with her hit song “Clothes Off,” from her 2014 self-titled album. The song had a fun vibe accompanied by groovy guitar riffs which was perfect to start off the show. With each song, the audience became more pumped as the energy from the performers radiated with charisma and joy, which was then shared back to them.

Throughout the night, Ria Mae gave a heartwarming, groovy show that was engaging and entertaining. (Johnny James/AQ)

The stage production behind the concert was simplistic but accompanied the singer and backing musicians well. A set of big, beam lights that spelled Ria Mae were positioned behind the performer as well as spotlights that were colour coordinated with them. Each song had specific lighting that matched the mood.

The song, “My Love” from her 2017 album, was accompanied by bright neon pink lights surrounding the venue and stage, while “Broken” incorporated flickering amber lights from both sides of the performer to create a neat looking strobing effect. The closing song “Red Lights” were of course accompanied by bright red lights across the stage.

Towards the end of the set, opening act Jocelyn Alice, a pop-soul artist from Calgary, AB, performed with Mae on the song “Therapy.” The crowd showed positive responses to this as they sang along wholeheartedly.

Mae then gave Alice the time to perform her own single “Jackpot” which the audience also knew quite well.

One of the shows highlights was the passion that poured out from the crowd during “Hold Me,” a song about being unsure of how to engage online without bringing negativity into your life.  The room was filled with a cacophony of voices. It felt as if we were in church and the crowd was the choir. They sang with the kind of passion that is only brought out from an artist who speaks to their audience through their lyrics in a way that is unexplainable.

Throughout the night, Mae gave a heartwarming, groovy show that was engaging and entertaining. She brought the kind of confidence and charisma you would expect of a performer who has been doing this as long as she has.

The emotional bond the audience had to Mae’s music is quite special and surely they will look forward to whenever she comes to town again.