When schoolmates Isaac Slade and Joe King came together to form a band in 2002, they probably didn't expect that in just a few short year, they would make up one half of one of the biggest band of the time. Together with current members Dave Welsh and Ben Wysocki, The Fray have gained massive success within the past decade, including 4 Grammy nominations spanning across 4 studio albums.
Their newest album, Helios, dropped in February of this year, getting to the top 10 positions on multiple Billboard charts. The first single, "Love Don't Die" has also faired well, appearing across a number of US and international charts. Off the heels of the album release, The Fray have been touring throughout the states, landing them in San Diego Tuesday night.
Though class may not be in session, there was no shortage of people at San Diego State's Open Air Theatre. With Oh Honey and Barcelona as their opening acts, the crowd was amped before the band even took the stage. (Maybe it was the array of balloons still being batted around in the crowd.) As soon as the lights dimmed and the boys appeared, the crowd release a deafening cheer. Opening with "Closer To Me," Slade began the show on an energy high, hanging tightly to the microphone as he swayed to the music. "Heartbeat" and "You Found Me" followed, which found Slade switching from guitar to piano, both of which he displays great talent in.
A few songs in, the crowd got the chance to take the vocal reigns to "Look After You," allowing a gorgeous meshing of voices that spanned throughout the venue. During "Wherever This Goes,"a song straight from Helios, Welsh stepped away from the guitar to take over the piano while King and Slade shared a single microphone. Their harmonies on top of the beat of the drum were an impressive feat, and easily my favorite moment of the night.
The energy cranked to 11 as the band urged the audience to come closer and dance as they jumped into the "Hold My Hand."The stage lights turned from simple and serene to a crazy display of neon. King traded his guitar for a bass and even took a selfie on the stage with Welsh, whose guitar style flipped to a more 70's funk. Nearing the end of the main set, the band played, much to the excitement from their fans, two of their bigger singles, "How to Save a Life" and "Love Don't Die." During the former, the boys used the chord progression to transition the song to a cover of Miley Cyrus's "Wrecking Ball."
Reappearing for a three song encore, Slade took the beginning of "Never Say Never" by himself on the piano. Again, the audience sang along beautifully underneath Slade's rich vocals. The band ended the night with "Break Your Plans" and "Same As You," both of which are from their latest album. After the set, Slade jumped into the pit to give everyone along the barricade a hug, an incredible display of gratitude for their fans.
With such a strong fan base and talent, there's no denying that the band has found great success throughout the past 10 years. Their current tour will continue throughout the states and into the fall where they make their way overseas for shows in Europe and South Africa. Check out their newest album, Helios, and to see if they are coming to a city near you.