Live Review: Rhye at Thalia Hall, March 8
With quiet intensity, Michael Milosh’s silken vocals washed over a captivated Thalia Hall crowd. Better known as Rhye, Milosh’s live show expanded on the dynamics of his discography with each song fitting into the next like a symphony, with the singer waving his hands to his fellow band members like a seasoned conductor.
The alternative R&B artist released his second full-length, Blood, in February of this year. Full of sensual, dreamlike grooves, the album sometimes borders on being a bit static in its range, yet his live set proved to be far grander in scope. Whether it was a lengthy rock guitar solo on “Taste” or Milosh’s acapella vocals piercing through a dimly lit stage to close out the evening, songs were elevated to maximum potential at their highest and lowest levels — sometimes doubling the length of their original form. Rather than droning on endlessly without purpose, this musical expansion was aided by careful instrumentation and calculated quiet moments.
To set the scene for an extended rendition of “Open,” Milosh requested from the stage that the lights be turned completely off. In complete darkness, the opening lines: “I’m a fool for that shake in your thighs / I’m a fool for that sound in your sighs” floated upward while some listeners appeared to melt into the floor, closing their eyes and throwing their heads back in response.
The most memorable aspect of Rhye’s performance was Milosh’s implausibly angelic falsetto. Crooning all evening with the timbre and purity of a brass instrument, the singer’s artistic presence was entirely housed within the confines of his voice. At each turn of the set, the mood was controlled by a nearly silent Milosh as he waved his hands downward to transition the crowd into serenity. “We’ll bring it up but then we’re going to bring it down after that to end on a real gentle note,” he instructed prior to his final two songs. The audience faithfully followed along, transfixed by the ethereal world that Milosh was conjuring with each and every note.
–BY JULIET CANGELOSI