Seth Haley (aka Com Truise) stood in the foggy shadows behind a colourful pentagon. A pointy beard and cropped hair made the man behind the podium seem like some sort of metal-inspired vampire. The pentagon was hypnotizing the crowd, and his futuristic brand of chillwave had everyone at his mercy.
Com Truise sounds like that bright, rabbit-hole zone between time portals. You’re falling through a colourful tube of blues and pinks and yellows on your way to 1983. Or, Com Truise sounds like what I imagine a spaceship should sound like on the inside in the moments right before takeoff. Either way, Seth Haley has tuned in to a progressive sound that is as equally unique as it is mesmerizing as it is progressive.
Walking into Fortune on a drizzly Monday evening kept expectations low for a rowdy crowd. Those expectations were instantly kicked out onto the curb once I hopped up the stairs to the sounds of Mr. Truise emerging from behind the podium. Perfect timing.
The podium/colourful pentagon served as the centrepiece, pulsing, twirling different shades of blues, pinks, and oranges. The setup, I believe, made the crowd more focused on what Haley was doing onstage. Unlike a lot of electronic sets, this was a performance. People weren’t milling about like any other club night, but were entranced by what Haley was saying and doing behind the colours. Meanwhile, smoke engulfed the stage while red and blue lights turned Haley into a purple silhouette. Visually, this show was incredible. A treat for anyone with a bit of a brain buzz.
As for his set, Haley played a mix of songs from both his LPs – Galactic Melt (2011), In Decay (2012) – along with numerous bits and pieces from his multiple EPs. Com Truise’s songs rely heavily on a pulse, a galactic beat. People fall into a trance watching him live. Limbs sway slowly as the body pulses freely. So it was funny when, multiple times throughout his set, Haley purposefully changed up the beat to throw dancers off their beat. I got caught the first time. After that, it was entertaining to watch hypnotized dancers snap out of a trance and try to reconfigure themselves. Some of them were smooth, others were cringingly awkward. Myself included. From Haley’s perspective, it must have looked like a poor, interrupted version of the Robot.
That seemed like his sense of humour, though. I bet he was secretly laughing to himself behind a ray of intertwining colour beams.
The few times Haley did speak up between songs, his delivery was very dry and direct. His voice oozed with sarcasm. So these purposeful beat interruptions were probably a joke to him – a joke I most definitely appreciated.
Com Truise capped off the night with his latest EP, Wave 1. Fresh songs to my happy ears. Haley did an amazing job of captivating the audience with a snowball-like set, constantly building momentum from each song to the next until he blasted us with his new material. People could be seen throwing their arms up in celebration of their audio orgasm – an eargasm, if you will. I know I did. And in that moment, I became Com Treery.