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Review: The Fray Live In Johannesburg (19 Sept 2014)

I keep saying this but it really is a great time to be South African – especially with all of the international talent gracing our shores. Although we still have the Foo Fighters, John Legend and 30 Seconds To Mars are still making their way to the country this year but last week American band The Fray took the country by storm.

These lads are such awesome guys. My experience with the band started off at the 94.7 studios in Sandton on Friday morning as they conducted a press conference. I could immediately see just how chilled they were and how they seemed to have been enjoying the engagement with the press. After the press conference, the band were more than happy to take photos with the media.

Onto the big night, I was a little late and unfortunately missed Matthew Mole but got to the venue just in time for the amazing Connell Cruise, who just signed an international record deal with L.A. Reid. The singer seemed very proud about performing in South Africa again and ensured us that South Africa will always be home. Connell is one of South Africa’s best live performers but he seemed to be screaming a bit too much in some parts of his performance. That being said, he nailed his performances of ‘Into The Wild’, ‘Not Just Friends’ and ‘99%’.

Now, onto the main act. I must be honest and say that I haven’t followed The Fray’s career intensely and while I only heard their new album ‘Helios’ about two weeks ago for the first time, they still managed to surprise me. Lead singer Isaac Slade has this cool factor to him and his vocals are on point.

I’m not going to lie and say that I did get one or two goose bump moments throughout the show when they played their hit singles. The crowd went wild for ‘You Found Me’, ‘How To Save A Life’ and even new single ‘Love Don’t Die’. I must admit that I wish they interacted more with the crowd but I guess they let the music speak for itself. It can’t be argued that they are a fantastic live band and it seemed everyone there was loving life.

Although Isaac didn’t interact with the crowd in speech, he went into the crowd once or twice and made sure he high-fived every person in that first row in Golden Circle. That was a really great touch and added that extra spark to the show. The Fray totally rocked the house and were an absolute treat to watch live. Check out the full set list from the Jozi show here:

1) Closer To Me
2) Heartbeat
3) You Found Me
4) All At Once
5) Hurricane
6) Rainy Zurich
7) Look After You
8) Keep On Wanting
9) Wherever This Goes
10) Just a Closer Walk With Thee (Patsy Cline cover)
11) Hold My Hand
12) Turn Me On
13) Give It Away
14) Our Last Days
15) How To Save A Life
16) Over My Head (Cable Car)
17) Love Don’t Die

18) Break Your Plans
19) Never Say Never
20) Shadow and a Dancer

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