Tuesday I got to catch The Fray perform at The Louisville Palace Theatre. Although the show was awkwardly placed at the beginning of the week, the size of the crowd did not seem to suffer. I will openly admit to enjoying The Fray. Even with their very standard alternative rock feel, the group does have a tendency to produce catchy tunes, and I admire the piano work as well. That being said, I must warn future concert seekers that if an upbeat, down-n-dirty performance is what you were craving, seeing The Fray live will not quench that thirst. Less than halfway through the band’s performance, due to a “guitar issue”, the group admitted to the crowd that the rest of the show must be performed acoustic. Despite the down grade in energy, there was a big part of this technical difficulty that wasn’t so bad in accepting. The extravagant atmosphere of the palace has a way in its own of making any show within its walls feel personable. So when The Fray took half of their drum kit away and plugged the acoustics in, the vibe that emerged was that of a very well, very authentically lit, coffee shop. To the rest of the crowd who wasn’t there to critic the show, the transition from plugged-in to a more personable acoustic show made for a heart-felt evening. If the audience is happy than the musician is happy. That’s the motto of a performer but as a writer, I just happened to notice that if the more laid back approach was pulled by The Fray at a venue, for example, like Bogart's in Cincinnati, beer bottles would been flying! I wish we had venues like Bogart's here, but I’ll save that for another article. The only jab I really picked up from the surrounding audience was that the band didn’t play their new single Heartless. Other than that, everyone seemed to be relatively happy. I have to say this show was the first I’ve seen in many years that wasn’t followed by an encore, but at the same time, I also noticed that the crowd didn’t ask for one either. In plain sight, sitting through the show was very enjoyable, but comparing the performance to other experiences revealed room for improvement. On that note, it was definitely better than their Super Bowl performance, which even they poked fun at.
Check out Ross Lister's photo gallery of The Fray at the Louisville Palace.
Photos: courtesy Laren Rapp cell phone shot