Despite having two members encumbered with the flu, Rhye managed to give a stunning performance last Wednesday that immersed the crowd in their sensual, soulful, and powerfully rich sound.

Oakland artist Insightful warmed up the crowd with a set featuring his own music as well as a few select tracks from his fellow artists from his record label, Soulection. Some members absently bobbed their heads to the beat while others continued contributing to the general murmur of conversation across the sold-out venue. However, everyone’s attention snapped to the front when the musicians started filtering in, taking their places behind the impressive array of instruments lined up on stage. Their reactions were even more drastic when lead singer, Michael Milosh, strolled up right after. The barrage of cat-calling that followed foreshadowed the downright sexiness that was about to be dropped in this joint.

Milosh’s angelic soprano, yet powerful, voice perfectly contrasted the heaviness of the resonant instrumentals backed up by a band composed of a pianist, bassist, guitarist, cellist, and violinist. The first portion of their set was mainly songs off of their album, Woman (2013). Percussive beats, warbled pizzicato on the violin, and twangy guitar-synth combination solos on their performance of “3 Days” added to this humming, encompassing whirlpool of noise. The crowd cheered in recognition of the piano intro of “The Fall,” which ended in a beautiful harmony inclusive of the entire band’s multi-talented musicians. On “Major Minor Love,” Milosh shared the drumset with the drummer, and they made a collaborative rhythm during a cello solo which eventually crescendoed into the entire band soloing all together, the guitar shredding to the end.

Near the end of the set, Milosh surprised the audience by announcing that, “This tour is going to be about doing new songs that are going to come out.” What followed were two new songs, one of which Milosh admitted he hadn’t finished the lyrics to yet, but he somehow managed to improvise effortlessly.

Of course, Rhye couldn’t finish the show without playing “Open,” towards which the fans responded appreciatively through the synchronized movement of the crowd as one. Overall, Rhye gives an incredibly dynamic, brilliant performance from the band’s lead vocals, to the phenomenal musicians supporting him.

Article by Vivian Chen
Photos by Emma Russon

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