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Rhye sprawls out at Palace Theatre

By Troy Hasselman, September 24 2019 —

Rhye’s Canadian tour rolled through Calgary’s Palace Theatre on Sept. 19. The R&B project, fronted by Toronto’s Mike Milosh, ran through a set that drew largely from their first two albums, Woman and Blood. 

The set showcased a jammier, more dynamic-laden set that stretched out the tightly composed and meditative Rhye track into post-rock style barn-burners that made full use of the seven-piece band that included synthesizer, guitars, violins and cello. Instruments would take turns soloing on songs and stretch them out to nearly ten minutes as they slowly build away at each song and have it reach new heights and crescendos that are only hinted at on record. 

Rhye, notably, doesn’t come onstage with a setlist and Milosh rather decides during the show what song is appropriate to play next. This adds an air of spontaneity to the performance and shows the sensitivity that Milosh has to the atmosphere of the show. Early on he commented that the crowd had a “good vibe” and proceeded to do all he could to accommodate that vibe. Before playing “Open” from 2013’s Woman he asked if the house lights could be turned off and the crowd could be silent as he crooned to us in the darkness. 

The set showcased another dimension to Rhye’s artistry, illustrating how the band is capable of transforming their contemplative, sensual work into something anthemic. The music sprawled out and acted as a canvas for the virtuosity of the band and the dexterity of Milosh’s arrangements.

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