April 1 2010, Festival Hall, Melbourne
Packed like sardines, a crowd of all ages assembled on Thursday 1 April 2010 at Melbourne's Festival Hall to witness the magic of The Fray. Known for their melancholic alternative rock sounds, The Fray were the headline act. Australian bands The Sundance Kids and Thirsty Merc did an incredible job as the support bands. Both bands delivered a taste of what was to come, their music mirroring The Fray's style.
The audience appeared to embrace the support acts as choruses of singing became more and more common. Lead vocalists of The Sundance Kids and Thirsty Merc, Ash Gale and Rai Thistlethwayte respectively, frequently addressed the audience, figuratively dissolving the metal barricade positioned between the audience and the stage.
At 9:45pm The Fray took the stage to tumultuous applause. There was no time for introductions as all those with general admission tickets were edging further and further towards the stage. Performing a range of songs from their debut album How to Save a Life, and their self-titled album, they certainly did not disappoint. The first crowd unifying moment came early on when they performed "All at Once", inspiring those in seats to get up and sing.
The night delivered many crowd rousing moments with popular hits "You Found Me", "Over my Head", "How to Save a Life" and "Never Say Never" proving to be crowd favourites. During the set lead singer Isaac Slade took a brief break in singing, letting guitarist Joe King deliver a rendition of "Heaven Forbid". King's rendition was even more emotion-driven than the original and his voice was surprisingly strong.
Slade attempted to engage with the crowd, offering a story about talking to his wife till 4am that morning. However, for the most part the crowd was left wanting. Nonetheless, the announcement that Melbourne was their favourite city in Australia was met with an explosion of excited cheers and screams.
The stage and lighting designs were minimalistic in contrast to performances by Pink or Lady Gaga. This left the band to demonstrate their own merit. Without outlandish costumes or fancy staging all they had was their voices. But that's why the audience - their fans - loved them.
While the crowd-stirring moments were memorable, their closing song, "Happiness", was the most powerful. Producing an unusually eerie silence the audience was left spellbound. As the crowd dispersed The Fray's lyrics, "and all at once the crowd began to sing", rang true as everyone left the hall quietly singing the words to their favourite song.
Four out of five.
Articles Written by Yolanda
Reviews written by Yolanda
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