The greatest thing to come out of Colorado, rock band The Fray, played a show on the Lower East side of Manhattan yesterday as part of PBS’ Artist Den program (the episode will air sometime early 2012). The lucky few who were invited to attend this exclusive taping, were in for a real treat at the Angel Orensanz Foundation—the venue itself is stunning, and it alone was worth the cross-town hike. (Seriously, do yourself a favor and check this place out.)
The band played a 90 minute, 15-song set filled with their most popular hits: among them “How to Save a Life” “Never Say Never” “You found me” and of course “Over my head (Cable Car)” as well as their new single,”Heartbeat,” and an array of never before-heard tracks off of their upcoming album Scars and Stories slated to be released February 2012.
Wasting no time, the band jumped right into it, pounding away at the keys, strings and drums, filling the room with so much music and energy the crowd was literally bursting at the seams with excitement. My sister, who attended the show with me, got so into it, she fell on top of the cameraman. Sorry camera dude!
The music, as always was excellent. No one can deny that these guys have real talent. Slade’s raspy voice fills the room with so much heart (and heat) that the tiny hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
He’s that good.
They’re that good.
The interaction with the fans though, well, that sort of left a lot to be desired. Now, its unfair to criticize, considering the band had to stick to a certain time frame, so back and forth banter with the audience after each song would take too much time—and truth be told, no one really goes to a show to hear the musician speak, you go to hear the music.
And music we heard.
The new tracks, including my personal favorite “Run for your life”, have a little something-something, previous The Fray hits didn’t—there’s some anger, a pinch of cynicism, and there’s even, get ready for this, some danceable melodies, seriously, Slade was dancing. But as is the norm, with the Fray, the lyrics are raw, honest and straight from the heart.
When Slade did speak, he talked of how the band had been through a lot over the course of the last few years, and yet beyond the struggles and fights, the band and they as individuals remain intact. Sure they have Scars, but they also have all these wonderful, beautiful,tragic, human Stories to tell. And thank goodness for that, because we fans will get a taste of their journey when Scars and Stories debuts next year.