Denver rock outfit The Fray graced The Fillmore on Wednesday, November 16, bringing Boston’s American Authors along with them. While fans are anxiously awaiting a new album from The Fray, the recent singles “Corners” and “Changing Tides” were present on both their recent Best Of album and their setlist.
This tour cut down on the typical number of openers, allowing American Authors to play a slightly longer set. Lead singer Zac Barnett raved about how much he loves “the food, the scenery & the people…. the people!” that greet them when they come through Philly. He shared that, come January, the band will have been together for ten years and he’s been “trying to get rid of them for the last nine.” This sort of light-hearted energy was present throughout the entirety of their 45-minute set.
They opened with the wonderfully upbeat “Go Big or Go Home,” seasoned with rich harmonies and percussion. The inclusion of slightly less typical instruments like banjo and large drums played by Barnett and bassist Dave Rublin added a lot of depth to their set. Barnett’s powerful and emotive vocals really shined through live, leaving behind the slight vocal processing typically present in their recordings. American Authors ended their set by playing their wildly popular song “Best Day of My Life” to a room full of people singing it back. This band is seriously underrated and has more than enough talent and passion to be one of the biggest in their genre.
The Fray came out to a stage lit by soft blue lights that matched the feel of the song, “Singing Low,” perfectly. Lead singer Isaac Slade’s dapper jacket paired with the vintage piano and ethereal lighting set a beautiful tone for their set. They then picked up the pace, going right into “You Found Me.” The passion and emotions that radiate from Slade when he’s behind the keys incomparable. He has a way of immersing the entire audience in the stories of his lyrics, allowing them to find personal connections and make the songs their own. Guitarist Joe King took over vocals for a few songs, including the absolutely beautiful “Rainy Zurich.”
Their setlist was a great balance of songs from all of their albums, although I was selfishly longing for a few more songs from their self-titled. The crowd was also treated to a number of brand new songs, making it a set new and old fans alike would enjoy. “Corners” seems to stick with the vibe of their last album, Helios. They have been embracing a slightly more pop/electronic influenced style that still bears all the trademarks that make them The Fray. They finished with a 3-song encore compromised of “Syndicate,” the brand new “Changing Tides” and fan favorite “Over My Head.”
Check out photos from the show in the gallery below, and head to the band’s website for upcoming tour dates and links to get Through The Years: The Best of The Fray.