Photos by Daniela Tantalo.
American Rock Band The Fray took their “Through The Years” tour to Toronto’s newly re-vamped and re-named venue, Rebel (formerly Sound Academy). Having popular songs played on the radio and streaming on the internet since 2005, they are well known for their popularity of their emotional rock songs. Even myself, grew up knowing the band and listening to their songs on the radio and throughout different parts of my life, so this was a performance that I have been awaiting for quite some time.
Pop/Rock band American Author’s opened the show with a fun and exciting set to begin the night. The crowd consisted of the young , and the old- along with their setlist. This tour was in the name of their recent release of album “Through The Years”, which is a greatest hits album. With this being said, the setlist consisted of the hits, rather than just one specific era. As the room remained dark with an eerie sound playing until they hit the stage, fans excitedly awaited. Once the band entered the stage, the crowd was yelling in excitement and happiness. They opened the show with “Singing Low”, but the show really got started with second song “You Found Me”, a more popular track. I was kind of surprised that they did not open the show with their second song as more people know it, but it still worked. Everyone was singing along passionately to Slade’s matching to the tracks fluid vocals and heavy lyrics, united as one as this is a popular song and was part of the soundtrack to so many people’s lives. Following this was more upbeat song, “Hurricane”, and then a hard hitting performance and extended interlude of “Look After You”. The performance of this track, was so passionate and sentimental , and was extremely effective in relating to the audience. Vocals were spot on, emotion and passion was extremely visible from every band member, and the extended interlude was just beautiful. Additionally, it prolonged into a short cover of “Wonderwall” by Oasis. Another breath-taking performance with yet another extended interlude included Vienna, which was most definitely a tear-jerker. This heavy and emotional song was performed so well and so accurate to the track- maybe even better.
What was really admired about this set was the inclusion of two different performance styles- high quality, and low-key and intimate. They included tracks performaed with advanced lighting and stage set-up, but also an acoustic aspect where all band members sat on stools in a row towards the front of the stage. Not only did this performance give audience members the chance to hear a variety of songs they have made, but also a variety in performance and to fully experience the band live in different aspects. During the acoustic set, they played “Heartbeat”, “Heaven Forbid”, and a unique cover of “Heartless” by Kanye West.
Performance of “Rainy Zurich” featuring vocals of Joe King, was inspiring and beautiful. King’s smooth vocals sounded even better than the original track, which is already immaculate.
They closed the show with “Never Say Never” which was a tear jerker, and “Love Don’t Die”, which were popular with the crowd. Additionally, an encore with “Syndicate”, and “Over My Head (Cable Car) which was awaited for throughout the set. Every song performed during this show, was flawless. To to pit off, they have a cool and calm presence, that is down to earth and adds to the show experience. This was a well done, well thought out, and engaging concert.