The Fray

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Band Summary

Average User Rating 7.94
Total Reviews 2
Last Reviewed August 20th, 2006
 
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0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
The Fray Sucked @ the Greek
Venue/Date: Greek Theatre (Los Angeles, CA)
Concert Date:  
July 16th, 2007
Reviewer: aceshooter

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8.10

Fray doesn't need rock to roll

The band plays at its middle-of-the-road best at the Greek, until it begins to take itself a bit too seriously.
By Mikael Wood, Special to The Times

In the first show of the Fray's two-night stand Wednesday at the Greek Theatre, guitarist Joe King introduced a new tune called "Dixie" by explaining that "Every good rock band needs one country song."

As rock-band adages go, this one sounds pretty serviceable. But what's it got to do with the Fray?

A depressingly dependable source of midtempo piano-pop ballads, this popular Denver-based outfit is no rock band; though its music is inarguably handsome, it lacks the action and electricity that courses through even hand-me-down junk like Lenny Kravitz's stuff.

And despite a vaguely twangy lead lick by guitarist Dave Welsh, "Dixie" isn't really a country song. No wonder the band played it in front of a video depicting lonesome stretches of heartland highway: How else were we supposed to know?

On the list of problems a group can encounter, not being a rock band doesn't rank very high; the Pussycat Dolls, for example, haven't suffered much. It's a problem for the Fray, though, because you can tell how badly these guys want to be in a rock band, and that prevents them from focusing on what it is that they do well, which is the mellow, folk-pop schmaltz of their two hit singles: "Over My Head (Cable Car)" and the title track from their hit debut, "How to Save a Life."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Young band's growing pains
Venue/Date: The Lawn at White River State Park (Indianapolis, IN)
Concert Date:  
June 19th, 2007
Reviewer: aceshooter

      Venue Parking  
      Venue Security  
      Opening Band  
      Opening Song  
      Set List  
      Band Connection  
      Band Energy/Intensity/Showmanship  
      ConcertGoer Energy/Intensity  
      Sound Quality  
      Set and Lighting Design (SLD)  
      The Finish/Encore  
7.78
The Fray stays on middle ground
The Fray may not have many things in common with AC/DC and the Ramones, but the three bands share one major trait: Each developed a signature sound and mined it again and again.

The Fray
Where: Lawn at White River State Park.

Bottom line: Young band is stuck in lucrative rut.

For AC/DC and the Ramones, the magic formula was aggressive and over-the-top. The Fray, meanwhile, used mid-tempo angst to fill its multi-platinum debut album.
Playing for a sold-out audience of more than 6,000 Tuesday at the Lawn at White River State Park, Fray vocalist Isaac Slade repeatedly played solemn piano and sang in a loping, slurred cadence that made hits of "How to Save a Life" and "Over My Head (Cable Car)."
It's not as if piano can't be a dynamic instrument within pop rock. Ben Folds is consistently engaging, and Jerry Lee Lewis has fanned an inferno for 50 years.
But Slade rarely strays from the middle ground established by "Life" and "Head," diminishing their effect in a live setting because they sound so similar to other Fray songs.
Coldplay -- frequently cited as Fray's primary influence -- at least made one explosive and adventurous album, "A Rush of Blood to the Head."
The Fray moved closest to that territory with "Absolute," which resembled early U2.
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