Photographs by Matt Forsythe.
Canadian-Danish duo, Rhye have become known for their live shows in the two years following their debut LP, Woman. Toronto fans were treated to a chaotic yet sultry performance.
Opening the night was Lisa Lobsinger (of Broken Social Scene fame) and her band Laser. The indie rockers’ smooth harmonies, textured riffs and atmospheric synths weren’t enough to keep an anxious audience’s attention. Lobsinger intermittently chatted with Rhye fans, between tracks from their forthcoming album Night Driver. Laser’s short but sweet set was quickly over leaving fans humming in anticipation for Rhye’s long awaited arrival Tuesday night.
Cheers of relief and excitement followed Rhye’s other half organ/keyboardist Robin Hannibal as alongside their band began an instrumental intro. Quivering violin was quickly drowned out by rapturous screams before vocalist Milosh could even utter a word of “Verse.”
Fans were given a night to remember as lush album cuts often made way for psychedelic jazzy riffs and funky beats. “The Fall” opened with buoyant soul melting into an acid jazz trip. Much of the songs from Woman grew from their origins into atmospheric sound walls full of Hannibal’s gospel organ, feverish violin, thunderous trumpet and jagged guitar.
Milosh’s gorgeous vocals anchored even their brassier numbers with a sense of intimacy. Made all the more impressive as he admitted to fans he was fighting bronchitis. His trills to the whispered start of “Open,” Milosh’s androgynous yet soulful voice left fans spellbound.
Closing with the disco-funk of “Hunger” had fans dancing and wanting more of the duo’s sensual, vibrant R&B-pop. Rhye’s long-winded instrumentals, funky grooves, jolting turns left and right reinvented Woman with unexpected rewards. Here’s hoping we see more of Rhye in 2016.