posted on May 09, 2012 15:19
Going into The Fray's long sold out engagement at The Pageant as part of their "Scars and Stories 2012 Tour", I was not sure what to expect. The Grammy nominated band from Denver, CO arrived in St. Louis for the final date of their Spring tour with a date at The Pageant in front of 2,000 adoring fans. As the house lights turned black, the crowd went wild in welcoming the band to the stage for an electric 18 song, 90 minute set and their first trip back to St. Louis in over 4 years.
Photos courtesy: Concert Creep - Check out more pics from the show HERE.
From the first notes of the night, you could tell that this band was most assuredly on top of their game as they came firing out of the gate with "The Fighter" off of their recently released album "Scars & Stories". Fray front man Isaac Slade was the master of ceremonies on this night as he owned every square inch of the venue from bottom to top. Although The Fray is known for not being big on interaction, the band came across as approachable and inviting throughout the set. As the familiar piano intro of the Fray smash "You Found Me" came across the speakers, the place went wild with nearly each and every person in attendance singing to the top of their lungs filling The Pageant with perfect harmonies.
As the set moved on, the band found ways to perfectly mix a blend of old classics along with many cuts off the new album which were all very well received by the boisterous crowd. This band and this set had a "big" show feel that will tour amphitheaters all this Summer and it was quite an experience to witness this type of show in the intimate confines of the best venue in the city. During a soft and sexy version of "Happiness" off the band's self titled 2009 release, singer Isaac Slade made his way into the crowd shaking hands and giving high fives all while not missing a note. He ended up in the front row of the balcony raining down melody upon the crowd like drops of magic in what was surely one of "the" moments of the night. As Isaac exploded back on to the stage, the band broke out their hit "Never Say Never" to one of the largest cheers of the night as all the couples in the house pulled a little closer. If there was ever a show to bring a date to, it is The Fray.
The funky beat of "Turn Me Up" was next that was somewhat of a departure from the normal Fray song with a much more rock and funk feel. The thing that I took from this band is that somehow they sound better live than they do on their studio releases. They just seem to be having so much fun making huge songs on stage and it really comes across in their live show. One of the largest cheers of the night came next for a run of songs familiar to all Fray fans as a triple threat of "How To Save A Life", "All At Once" and "Cable Car" (featuring a fantastic rock breakdown) most assuredly turned up the heat in the venue. In a funny moment during Cable Car, singer Isaac Slade quickly and unexpectedly jumped into the crowd for a good crowd surfing session. The only problem was, the folks in the pit were not prepared and it appeared that he was dropped. But, not to be deterred, he lifted himself up and dusted off, and made his way back to the stage....only to dive off again, but this time the fans were ready to catch their front man.
The band ended the 75 minute main set with an absolutely stellar version of their new single "Heartbeat" which filled the walls with huge sound and was probably the strongest song of the night. You could feel the emotion in the building during this one. With that, the band left the stage with bows, waves and praise to the fans who showered them right back with huge cheers. After a short encore break, the band returned to the stage for a 3 song encore of "Look After You" a stellar version of "Ungodly Hour" featuring vocals by guitarist Joe King and the band gathered at the front of the stage for the final song of the night with a fun cover of "Maps" by the 'Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs'.
In walking away from the show, it struck me how much I enjoyed watching this band perform. Their live show brings a perfect mix of rock and ballads packaged with a fun feel and stage production. If you ever get a chance to catch The Fray live, I would suggest you definitely do so, you might just be surprised as to what you find in the results.
Check out more from The Fray on their website HERE.
Check out past interviews and reviews in the archive by clicking HERE.
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