Things started out a little shaky at the Orpheum Theatre last Friday night. Those in attendance at the 2011 Z104 Connie & Curtis Jingle Ball, were unfortunate enough to see Curtis came on stage with just a package over his, ahem, package. After wanting to claw my eyes out, relief came in the form of the main event: The Fray.
When the band took the stage and played the opening chords of “Over My Head (Cable Car),” frontman Isaac Slade’s husky voice could be heard, but he was nowhere to be found. Fans’ guttural screams in the Orpheum’s top tiers gave him away, and a spotlight shone on Slade in the balcony. He wore jeans and a white jacket and strutted through the aisles for a bit, disappeared, reappeared in a side box, disappeared again and then stepped on stage.
After two songs sans keys, Slades chimed in, “What’s up Mad-town? You ready for a piano song?” He jokingly wiggled his fingers and then began playing, “Absolute,” one of the many mid-tempo, pop-rock ballads The Fray is known for.
Read the rest of Kaitlyn Schnell’s show review and check out photographer Darren Lee‘s photos of The Fray as well as openers Karmin and The Cab after the jump.
The band performed fan favorites such as “Never Say Never,” “You Found Me,” “How To Save A Life,” and their new hit, “Heartbeat,” during which Slade enthusiastically climbed on top of his piano.
It’s hard not to get a little choked up while listening to the quartet’s many emotional hooks – and the fans at the show didn’t hide their enthusiasm for the music. A group of bros in the front row wearing backwards baseball caps manically rocked out and sang every single word to every single song of the night. They must not have gotten the memo that the Fray aren’t exactly moshing material.
At the end of the night, after raucous cheers from the crowd for an encore, Slade reappeared on the stage for a solo acoustic performance of “Happiness.” Just towards the end of the tune, he put a finger to his lips, mouthed “Shh” and finished the song without a microphone to a noiseless audience.
After the solo, the encore included another new song, “Run for Your Life,” as well as the band’s rendition of the holiday classic, “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire,” during which Slade wore a scarf thrown onto the stage from a fan. He joked with the audience that they should all head to Cooper’s Tavern for a beer, and maybe “a nice ginger ale” for those not yet of age.
Slade’s pitch was on all night, and he performed with signature passion. He marched across the stage with swag, whipped out quirky dance moves and stood with one foot in front of the other to balance while fervently belting into the mic. He crouched over the piano while playing, hopped off the stage in front of the crowd and ended songs on his knees.
There wasn’t much more the Fray could do to prove their dedication to their music and their fans at this concert – unless it involved coming out on stage in their birthday suits like a certain radio host had. But we all know that didn’t pan out too well.
Photos by Darren Lee:
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