Keely Chislom ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
The Fray, along with opening acts Oh Honey and Barcelona, played the last major show of the North American Helios tour in Boston last Wednesday. Nearly four thousand people filled the amphitheater by the time The Fray took the stage, trickling in while the first two acts performed.
All three bands took a few sentimental moments to commemorate the last big show, thanking fans, crew, and each other for the experiences. And, naturally, as the end of tour brings a host of friendly pranks, extra elements of fun and surprise pervaded this show. The Fray’s mischief in the form of filling water bottles with alcohol and taking instruments away while Barcelona were still playing had the audience laughing and cheering. The other bands soon got their revenge, though, by charging the stage in boxers during The Fray’s final song, “Love Don’t Die.”
Most people generally associate The Fray with soft rock and piano riffs, as in “How to Save a Life,” the song that drove their rise. The band that played in Boston, however, is a new Fray, giving a lively, energetic show that might have surprised those unfamiliar with the band’s recent endeavors. The seventeen-song setlist was a mix of old and new, but mostly new; songs from February’s release Helios were interspersed with hits like “Never Say Never” and “Look After You.” Lead singer Isaac Slade alternated between the mic stand and the piano bench, the transitions between songs feeling seamless. The set began with a high-energy performance of “Closer To Me,” and the mood stayed very much the same throughout the night. Even during the slower songs, the audience remained engaged, singing along and keeping up a near constant stream of cheers.
The Fray connected well with the audience, in more ways than one. “Hurricane” saw Slade running through the crowd and standing up on chairs to sing, before finishing the song back onstage. Throughout the night, there was an easy dialogue between The Fray and the crowd, the band thanking the audience over and over again for being supportive. Slade shared a story about Boston in particular, recalling the first time that a crowd sang along. He said that it was back when the band was first formed and his voice wasn’t working, so he asked the crowd to sing with him while he played piano. “Boston was like, ‘f*** yeah, bring it on!’” he said.
The Fray finish up in North America in early September, before heading to South Africa and Europe to play shows there through the fall.