- Written by Morgan Harris -
Rhye is surrounded by an air of mystery.
The androgynous vocals on recorded tracks leave listeners questioning whether the lead singer is a man or a woman. The band is shrouded in so much secrecy that nobody noticed when the lead singer pulled up to the venue and walked through the front doors of Paradise Rock Club. While waiting in line for the sold-out show, the anticipation to find out who Rhye was could clearly be felt. People ran towards the stage once the doors were opened so that they had the perfect spot to catch a glimpse of the true lead singer. The crowd was an interesting mixture old and young, men and women. There wasn't one demographic that dominated the audience, which is a characteristic that isn't common at most concerts.
Before Rhye took the stage,
funk-punk artist Boulevards opened the show with a pure display of energy that the crowd didn't know how to handle. This changed at the end of his set when he jumped into the crowd and created an impromptu Soul Train line. Many people enthusiastically participated in this. Rhye took the stage with a thoroughly warmed up audience. When the lead singer, Mike Milosh, finally stepped out of the shadows, there was a slight pause as the crowd realized who he was. The silence was quickly replaced as the audience erupted in cheers. In stark contrast to their opener, Rhye began their set with the mellow "Please."
Milosh's light and airy vocals required the audience to be attentive. He had a stage presence very similar to that of Thom Yorke. Like Yorke, Milosh kept his eyes closed for the majority of the show. Though many would believe that this performance style disconnects the audience from the artist, Milosh and Yorke do the opposite. They perform as if the music is flowing through them as if singing is a full body experience that is very personal to them. They make the audience feel like they are going through the same experience as them. Looking around, it was clear that almost everyone in the crowd was entranced as they silently swayed in time to Rhye's smooth and intricate R&B.
While Milosh's voice may have commanded the audience's attention,
the extremely talented instrumentalists almost stole the show. When listening to the band's music, it's hard to imagine how the intricacies could possibly be brought to a live performance. But, the talented musicians pulled it off. They consisted of a keyboard, bass guitar, electric guitar, drums, electric bass, and an electric violin. Each instrumentalist had their own solo that truly showcased how talented they all are during the up-tempo songs like "Last Dance" and "Count to Five." John, the electric violin player, shined throughout the night. Each of his solos elevated the songs to a level that no one thought was possible. From his staccato fingerpicking to his complex shredding, each time he played was perfection.
The best moment came at the very end of the show.
Rhye decided not to go out with their most popular song "Open," but with their current single, "A Song For You." Milosh asked the crowd to be completely silent and for the lights to be turned down before he began singing. The club, filled with almost a thousand people, was dead quiet. As Milosh sang the first note, the air changed and the people around me stopped moving. It was as if Milosh was serenading each person individually, a level of intimacy that isn't very common at concerts. Crying could clearly be heard throughout the audience as he reached the chorus.
Rhye left the stage as soon as the song was done and everyone was left raw. The crowd cheered aftershock subsided, asking for just one more song. When the lights finally came up, it became clear that Milosh knew exactly what he was doing. He left the crowd drooling and making them want him even more than they did before. It was a masterclass on how to control an audience.