Arts & Entertainment, Features

REVIEW: The Fray transports audiences with classic hits

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Dedicated fans filled the Orpheum Theatre Friday night as Denver-based band The Fray played songs from their new album, “Through the Years: The Best of the Fray.” The familiar beat of the band’s classic songs truly felt like a blast to the past.

The opening act, pop-rock band American Authors, actually were coming home. The band was formed in Boston. Lead singer Zac Barnett told the crowd how the group met at the Berklee College of Music.

Throughout their set, Barnett said American Authors wanted to bring the audience back to “one of those Berklee piano rooms.” And they did just that, energizing fans with their spectacular vocals and many instruments.

The Fray opened with their 2016 single, “Singing Low.” Immediately, the crowd was on their feet, dancing and swaying, as the band showcased incredible harmonies.

Audience members ranged from middle-aged couples to devout Fray fans. Regardless, every person in the crowd was unified by throwback favorites like “How to Save a Life,” “Never Say Never” and “You Found Me.”

Lead singer Isaac Slade let the audience sing the first few lines of “How to Save a Life.” From pillar to pillar, the Orpheum Theatre resounded with the sound of everyone’s favorite 2005 hit. It felt as if the show was a giant instance of déjà vu, in the best way.

The Fray has been around since 2002, when Slade and Joe King formed the band. They put the group on the charts with debut album “How to Save a Life” in 2005, which hit the top 10 in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. 

The group broke into the U.S. market when single “Over My Head (Cable Car)” became a top 10 hit, now a true classic.

Old classics were not the only songs on the set list for the night.  The Fray sang a new song called “Corners.”  It was a spectacular performance that, without completely altering their pop-rock roots, presented a different, refreshing sound.  

Halfway through the performance, The Fray switched up their set as the curtains were closed and the piano and bass guitars were brought to the front of the stage.  The mood of the concert shifted to a much more intimate setting. The band celebrated their new album by performing beautiful acoustic versions of their songs as white lights twinkled softly behind them.

After The Fray wrapped up the more intimate part of the show, Slade very quickly alluded to the looming presidential election. “It’s 2016.  Make sure you vote. Take it easy,” he said.  

The band closed off the show in a grandiose manner with an impressive performance of “Over My Head.” This final performance was brimming with a sense of togetherness as the audience audibly belted out the lines of the popular hit with smiles on their faces.

The concert was an absolute success. Not only were the band’s vocals clear and powerful, but the instruments also proved to create a feeling of musical enchantment all throughout the historic Orpheum Theater.

As “Over My Head” ended on a high note, the lights turned on to signal the end of the concert. But The Fray still stayed on stage, shaking fans’ hands, smiling and giving warm nods to audience members.

They are a timeless band that proves to be just as authentic and genuine as their songs.  The concert not only celebrated The Fray’s new album, but it also transported the crowd back into their early 2000s days, rife with familiar Fray classics.

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