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Rhye At Immanuel Presbyterian: Show Review

Jillian Morabito |
November 8, 2014 | 3:43 p.m. PST

Music Editor

Rhye performing at Immanuel Presbyterian (Jillian Morabito/Neon Tommy)
Rhye performing at Immanuel Presbyterian (Jillian Morabito/Neon Tommy)
For some people, spiritual experiences involve God, baptism and religious occurrences. For the more secular folk, it could be the first time biting into animal fries from In-N-Out. Regardless of the first time it happened, Rhye’s performance at Immanuel Presbyterian Church last night was a spiritual awakening for all involved. 

The venue, Immanuel Presbyterian Church, took on a persona of its own last night. With the exception of the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever, there was no better place in Los Angeles for both Rhye and Lo-Fang to perform. The massive, gothic church was dimly lit, with everyone sitting in pews, waiting for the musical experience to occur. The setting synced perfectly with the unearthly, mystic sounds of the music. 

The show began with opener, Lo-Fang. Just as everyone was waiting for the main act to arrive, Lo-Fang was certainly not one to be overlooked. Classically trained, Lo-Fang’s music was the ultimate blend of symphonic synth and soft vocals. Sounding like the score of an Irish gangster film, he alternated between singing, guitar, violin and many more instruments. Usually when performers neglect focusing on vocals, the audience begins to tune someone out. However, Lo-Fangs performance was so beautiful, you couldn’t help but stay enchanted. 

READ MORE: Julian Casablancas + The Voidz At The Wiltern: Show Review

After a short intermission, headliner Rhye came to the altar. Large colorful, lit spheres decorated the stage, with a haunting red backdrop, akin to that of a horror movie setting. 

Following a seven-minute instrumental prelude, “Verse” opened the show. The opening instrumental synchronization fittingly sounded like a church processional, with someone even playing the pipe organ. With everyone snapping their fingers to conclude the song, it was evident this would be an entertaining show. 

Next up was “3 Days” which was performed with a rather different arrangement. With not as much synth as the song usually has, the stripped-down version worked just as well. Garnering much anticipation from the audience, “The Fall” was another high point in the evening, with lead singer Milosh commenting, “It feels like we’re flying.” 

By far the loudest part of the performance was “Last Dance.” With a groovy synth and 90s jazz feel, the song begged for the audience to start dancing. Milosh took to the keyboards for a long piano riff, accompanied by a much-appreciated trumpet. Perhaps it was because they were mesmerized or because it feels rather uncomfortable to dance in a church, but there were some sways missing on the fans’ behalf.  

The music of the night did not just include Rhye, but also some songs from Milosh’s solo project. For example, he invited Lo-Fang to do a duet at one point, a rather refreshing take on the opener-headliner dynamic. 

Though the entire night was magical, the high point had to be the band’s viola string player, Thomas, proposing to his girlfriend and dedicating “Open” to her. The audience applauded, with every girl in attendance most likely secretly envious, wishing this moment of perfection would happen to her. The performance of the song spanned about eight minutes, but every second of it was perfect, with longer piano and synth riffs concluding the melody. 

On a sweltering fall day in Los Angeles, Milosh’s vocals were our version of air conditioning, giving us chills. Ethereal, his gender-neutral voice is delicate, syncing perfectly with the alternative-electronic sound the band produces. His voice is crisp like the fall leaves Los Angeles doesn’t have. 

By the sheer emotion transcending through the audience, it was clear that concertgoers were not merely stumbling through Wilshire and decided to pop into the church to see what was going on. The sold-out show, instead, attracted fans that have been following Rhye’s music for the past year or more. Sitting in the audience, I noted many people visibly moved and tearing up during the show. 

If that isn’t a testament to Rhye’s transcendence, I don’t know what is. 

Reach Music Editor Jillian Morabito here. 



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