Concert Review: The Fray

The Fray's newest single, Heartbeat


By Haley Earl-Lynn

The Fray
KPRi at Grand Del Mar
October 29, 2011 

“What happens to a dream deferred?”

Back when Abercrombie and Fitch denim miniskirts were still socially acceptable, The Fray entered the hearts and ears of teenagers across the states. In 2005, the band’s first track “Over My Head (Cable Car)” was released and quickly climbed up to the Billboard Top 10 list. Most teens didn’t stumble upon this track via the Billboard list though. MySpace was the hottest website among teens in 2005 and The Fray graced the profiles of many MySpaces as a staple “profile song.” Having found success immediately, not just on MySpace but in the real world as well, the band grew almost overnight with the release of their first album.

Now that MySpace seems as outdated as home telephones with cords and spam for dinner, it is remarkable to see that The Fray is still alive and well. Last Saturday The Fray played a private listener concert for KPRi FM at the Grand Del Mar. There were just about 40 people in attendance. The venue had the vibe of a speakeasy and was the perfect location for the intimate performance.

With the amount of success and fandom many indie bands can only dream of finding, it was refreshing to see that the Fray still find themselves passionate about their music. The band did the unexpected and brought ample enthusiasm and energy to the live rendition of their seasoned tunes.

Originally from Denver, Colorado, the band is made up of four men, Isaac Slade, Joe King, Dave Welsh and Ben Wysocki. The four musicians worked hard this year to finish their third album which was officially completed three months ago. The new album, which will be titled Scars and Stories, features the track “Heartbeat” which is available now on iTunes.

The new track received audience approval on Saturday, but new music was not the main focus of the show. The band played old favorites such as “How to Save a Life” and “You Found Me” as well. Many audience members were first time viewers, but longtime fans of the band.

With a new album scheduled to release in January, the band is doing a promotional tour through the end of the year. While the band has previously played at large amphitheaters (i.e. Cricket Wireless in Chula Vista), the small and personable set up at the Grand Del Mar seemed compatible to the band’s acoustic nature. The grand piano added an extra special touch in comparison to the standard keyboard typically used in live performances.

Mari Collins, a USD senior, noted that the band “fell into the category of bands who sound just as good live as they do recorded”.

After falling in love with the band in 2005, Collins had high hopes for the show. The Fray more than impressed her, as well as the rest of the audience. After the show ended all three band mates stood around and took photos with audience members and answered questions. In general, the process of setting up an interview with a band is often as painful as stubbing a toe. It is uncommon to see a band take the time to interact with fans the way The Fray did.

While last Saturday was a special occasion for 40 music lovers, there will surely be more memorable run-ins with the Colorado band in the near future. Their next tour kicks off in the late spring/early summer of 2012 and will surely stop in sunny southern California once more.