RHYE at Massey Hall

Photo Credit: Jag Gundu / Massey Hall.

After a mysterious first appearance on the internet in early 2013 and turning that mystery into full-blown superstardom, the duo, now solo act known as Rhye has remained just as enigmatic on their second album. Canadian singer Michael Milosh who used to record under the name Milosh now fully controls Rhye after the exit of producer Robin Hannibal, released a second very sensual album that deals with love, loss and sexuality in an incredibly mature and frank nature. The how started with a new rendition of 3 Days, from his debut album Woman, that originally had a more upbeat jazzy feel about the beginning of a relationship (that with his now ex-wife) has now been turned into a much slower more orchestral version of the song bringing an entirely new meaning to the song. During an instrumental break down his pianist played a gentle solo that sounded like it was ripped from Matthew Tavares from BADBADNOTGOOD’s style. Milosh joined in by playing a drum kit he had set up next to his microphone.

Despite having an almost androgynous like aura around himself and his ability to hit and sustain some very high notes, live he somehow manages to actually have an almost deeper vocal cadence while not betraying his falsetto range. Moving into some newer songs the band played Please, which the drummer got the audience to gently clap a long, something that occurred several times throughout the night with the crowd aptly being able to read how intense or soft to make the claps.

From the start of The Fall, where Milosh sung the opening “ohhhhs” a loud cheer filled the room. The single from the first album that helped put the duo on the map has just become more popular as time goes by. Milosh, listening to the cheers opened his arms up to his sides as he soaked in the adulation. As he read the vibe and the band started grooving, Milosh, danced around the front of the stage in a graceful fashion. Afterwards he gushed saying “Oh my god, hometown Toronto. It’s not just Toronto, it’s Massey Hall” showing his reverence for the famed music hall.

On Softly a frantic instrumental section between the cello and violin was like hearing A Day in Life live might have been like, as it was epic, scary and exhilarating to see to musicians perform so skillfully. Tell Me Lies had his cellist switch over to trombone and play a killer New Orleans funk beat overtop an organ riff, while Phoenix has a crazy 1970’s disco sound that is impossible not to dance to. The whole night the band seemed to switch up their styles from jazz to RnB to classical to funk to rock as nothing was out of reach from the eight-person ensemble.

While it was a five year wait between albums, the wait was surely worth it as Milosh expanded both his sound and style continuing to show that he is the preeminent voice of adult sexual frankness from the highs of spending several days locked in bed to the lows of ending a marriage. His live show is an exercise in grandeur and spectacle while showcasing his angelic voice and his lush arrangements, hopefully we won’t have to wait five more years for another record.

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