Normally, getting told at the door about a band’s request for no photos, no in and out of the room during the show, no loud talking, and then two more similar announcements before the show starts with the additional piece of information that the bar would be closed during the show, would generally irk me. Believe me, I’m the biggest advocate of no talking, pictures with flash etc. during a performance, but they way they were really hammering this in at Schubas before Rhye took the stage was a little much. Then the music started and I couldn’t have cared less.
I don’t even know how to talk about how good this show was because while I was expecting it to be really good, I didn’t know it would be that good. Like, witnessing something truly special good.
Seeing Rhye at a place like Schubas, with candles lit and enough Warby Parker frames to fill a flagship store, is really the only place anyone should see Rhye, and as all those in attendance refrained from talking and taking pictures, Rhye and an impressive live band that included strings and a trombone cast a spell. A really chic, sexy love spell.
The band played some mood music as lead vocalist Mike Milosh walked on stage then went right into the understated “Verse.” With a tremendous command of vocal restraint, the sounds of “Verse,” including expert harmonizing from the group, melted the room before they performed a transformed, stripped down version of “3 Days.”
Milosh kept his own talking to a minimum, however he acknowledged he was getting good vibes from Schubas, saying “yeah, this will be nice,” as the mood picked up a little and everyone started grooving to “The Fall.”
Throughout the evening, Milosh kept signaling to his band to draw songs past their normal running time, letting the beat ride as his voice floated sublimely above everything. After “Shed Some Blood,” things continued to heat up with “Last Dance” and “Major Minor Love,” the room dead silent, hanging on to every last word and note.
Nearing the end of the hour long set, the mood turned more celebratory with “Open,” and then “Hunger,” which featured solos from each band member including a fantastic trombone solo.
After explaining that they had one more song left, the show closed with the band performing one of Milosh’s singles, “It’s Over,” aptly titled to close out an other worldly performance.
No doubt, Rhye are on an upward trajectory and will soon be leaving rooms like Schubas behind for bigger theaters and festivals. With the ability to craft a bubble of Rhye-ness at Schubas, even if it meant threatening signs and announcements, Rhye as a live show was something transcendent. Too bad you can’t get 1,500 people that quiet no matter what you do. Go see Rhye before the crowd starts talking.
And yes, I snuck one photo and I didn’t lift my phone up or use the flash. SFP.