On a smokey hazed stage overlooking the beautiful backdrop that is the Torrens River and the Adelaide Convention Centre lights once again the Palais delivers a magical atmosphere for the Adelaide Festival’s music acts. For one night only the sensual and melodic Rhye performed in what he described our “sweet city.”
Feeling the pulsating drum beats of the first song Verse was the perfect compliment for the cool air breeze on this warm summer like night. Followed by 3 Days as he crooned “I’m famished” in his sexy cool vibe then making us melt when he sings “baby please” from the song Please. The bass tones had everyone groovin’ and swaying despite being seated through out the show.
This was Rhye’s first time in Adelaide and by all accounts he was enjoying it. As Adelaide was his last show he was ready to “get weird.” maybe weird is the new cool because Rhye is anything but weird. With his soulful and distinctive falsetto vocals Rhye was mesmerising and heroic in his delivery on each song.
The band set up was something I haven’t seen in a while with the drummer to the right of stage, keyboards on the left with guitar, violin, cello and bass all in the centre. The band was tight and the respect for one another was beaming as they played with soul.
Playing Major Minor Love from his 2013 album Women then hearing the cheers from the crowd when he broke out into The Fall. Last Dance had a more funkier groove including a brilliant solo effort on the violinist Rachel.
Rhye moved around the stage taking the lead vocals or playing keys or banging on the drums at any opportunity jamming with the band. Showing off his multi-instrumental skills while keeping the vibe smooth and sensual. He was sending out cool happy vibes and the audience reciprocated.
Telling us he was “bringing it down a little now” causing bass player Roland to take of his jacket. It was time to get serious getting the crowd ready for the next song Waste. At this point we were asked if we “wanted an upbeat or a song to make you cry?” Someone yelled out “upbeat” and Rhye warned us that “If we go upbeat you need to move your shoulders and move your toes!” then belting out an impromptu chorus of a made up song of “shake your fucking toes, shake your fucking toes.”
Next up was the as promised was the upbeat and funky Phoenix followed by Taste which was impossible not to move your shoulders or toes to as he sung “Are you dancing with your eyes closed?” While it was a short upbeat moment Rhye told us “We need to bring it down the emotional pressure” asking for the lights to be turned down to set the mood. Then he asked his band to play softer for the song Open making sure “they were going to get uncomfortably quiet.” Keyboard player Quincy showed off his key skills sending us into a psychedelic spin.
Let’s not forget mentions also for Pat on guitar, Peter on Cello and Zac on drums. Each band member had their chance to shine with solo efforts and were all equally accomplished musicians.
Hymn was next as he asked “shall we do a song not off an album?” getting the approval from one women in the audience. Rhye while softly spoken was full of love for his audience. Bantering at any opportunity almost like he wanted to get to know us. He seemed to love the setting and bounced off the audience creating a smooth and happy vibe.
Before breaking into Hunger he told us we “need to wiggle our toes” launching into another funky upbeat tune before telling us that he was “bringing you down again. Not melancholic but happy sad.” But before he started to sing he did call out people in the back playing on their phones. Rightly so. I mean why go to a concert and be on your phone? Even yelling out to the guy “we are looking at you! Get off your phone!” to no avail. The audience roared with laughter when Rhye gave up and said “God I’d hate to have sex with that guy!”
Ending the night on the beautifully haunting Song For You encouraging us to help sing the chorus. He said he heard a rumour that people in Adelaide are good singers. He asked us to sing and when no one did he laughed “Oh those rumours are not true!” The crowd eventually began to sing creating a sultry and sensual atmosphere crooning “I feel your heart baby, I feel your pain” while snapping fingers. Rhye sent us off in a whirlwind spin ingraining those lines in our memory long after the show finished.
Adelaide Festival Review By Anastasia Lambis