So back to Beyonce, Boston Terriers and the Fray. Tuesday’s Fray show opened up a more intimate theater tour to promote the release of their self-titled second CD, coming out February 2nd (tour dates here). Getting into the show, however, wasn’t as easy as you would imagine. Several Denver venues, including the Gothic, are general admission, and you have to wait in line until an hour before the show. Seeing how the Fray are hometown boys, and the show was sold out instantly when tickets went on sale (due to pre-sales), the line was long, and the weather was cold. I was a bit chilled by the time I got in the door, but being surrounded by die-hard fans took some of the edge off the cold. Either that, or I was experiencing early stages of hypothermia.
Seriously, though, it’s pretty cool to feel the hometown pride for this band. It reminds me a bit of how Syracuse feels about Benny Mardones, even though he’s not even from Syracuse. There was this sense of “they’re one of us” in the crowd waiting to get in, and people were recounting shows they’ve seen in the past, how much they paid scalpers for tickets (I heard up to $300 for $28 tickets), and of course favorite songs. Personally, I’m really jaded right now, because “You Found Me” has eclipsed any favorites I had on How To Save A Life. In fact, to give you an idea of what the venue looked like, here’s a clip of them doing that very song. Sorry about the cut off at the end, but check out the lamps all over the stage. The video just doesn’t do them justice for the impact they had.
So the show itself was wonderful. As you will find at every concert these days, there were a few tools doing their best to ruin the show for everyone around them, but at a certain point, I tuned out the jerks, and just got immersed in the music. They performed all of the songs that you would expect: “How To Save A Life”, “Over My Head”, “She Is”, “Look After You”, and of course “You Found Me”. The band doesn’t deviate too far from their formula, and some of their biggest hits are ripe for sing-along. There was a LOT of singing along.
The big question going into this show was the new material, since I’ve put myself on radio silence towards that stuff. In order to get tickets for the show, I had to pre-order the Deluxe Edition of the physical CD. That pre-order got me a pre-sale code, and that’s how I only ended up paying face value for the tickets. In addition, I will also get the opportunity to download a live digital release of songs from the tour. See, if you’re going to create a value-added promotion for die-hard fans, THAT’S the way to do it.
As a result, I decided I wanted to experience them live first, and then on the CD when it shows up. Overall, I’m pleased. While the baseline Fray sound remains intact, there are some extremes now. The mellow songs got more mellow, and there is at least one grunge-ish song called “We Build Then We Break”. Highlights for me were “Syndicate”, which is potentially the second single, and “Happiness”, which Isaac dedicated to his “pops” during the encore. Here’s “Syndicate” for your perusal:
Okay, so where do the Boston Terriers and Beyonce fit into this? Well, Isaac had some interesting banter between songs. By his own admission, the Fray is good at many things, but “talking” is not one of them. I think he did fine, though. He talked about his new Terrier puppy, about the holidays, and the family. And while we’re talking about the boys in the band, let’s contemplate just why Mr Fizzy isn’t completely infatuated with Joe King, who SO looks like his type. But the big surprise of the night was the only cover song that I could pick out, and it was a doozy. Check out the video below…
It was great to see that these guys have a sense of humor, as well as the ability to translate what they do in the studio to a live setting. There’s no doubt in my mind that The Fray will debut at #1 the week it’s released, especially if the performance of “You Found Me” is any indication. It’s only competition will be the likes of Melissa Doolittle and Liza Minnelli. What I’m looking for is the longevity. While How To Save A Life went double-platinum, it never got above #14. There’s only one direction to go when you debut at the top. From what I heard, it shouldn’t be a problem for them to get a good run out of the new record as well.