Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend, somewhere along in the bitterness and I could have stayed up…
Well as you have probably guessed by now, thanks to the promptness of Lova in getting tickets the day they were released, I attended the sold out “The Fray” concert. And by sold out I mean a few hours after the tickets were available… 6000, gone, just like that.
The opening band was called Mute Math (does anyone know why mathematics is abbreviated ‘Math’ in the USA and ‘Maths’ everywhere else?) They started off well, I particularly remember a song called Control. Then they lost their way a little, with the lead singer jumping on top of the instrument he was playing and doing handstands and so on. Based on the music, I would guess that their influences are Sting, Oasis and Ross Geller. They’re not as ‘ahead of their time’ as Ross Geller was, maybe it’s a transition between what most people would call music and whatever Ross did on Friends. The good thing about Mute Math is that each member seemed to be proficient at playing all the instruments. They did have a fear of picking up after themselves, so they hired a technician to run around stage putting drumsticks and microphones back where they belonged from the floor and behind the stage. At the end the technician got a big hug from the lead singer and a cheer from the audience so he probably felt appreciated.
After an interminable wait between the opening band (foreplay band as the Doc calls them) The Fray started playing. Their attempts to get the crowd involved with Over my head (cable car) failed when the Purdue public did not quite share their memory of the lyrics. Ah well, they recovered and went back to the music. The Purdue audience got an exclusive look at a brand new song, which they wrote 3 hours before the show and performed for the first time. It’s about the rhythm guitarist’s brother who had a bad year last year. Wait... maybe the brother was the technician who had to pick up after the foreplay band. The acoustics at Elliott Hall are not the greatest so we couldn’t hear the words or the lyrics to this song properly. (The guitarist himself had a cheat sheet which he put on the floor and referred to throughout the song). The lead singer has a great voice I must say and he came on stage with just an acoustic guitar to sing one song. That’s some of the best singing I’ve ever heard at a pop / rock concert.
They finished off with the only Fray song I know the lyrics to (and it's very difficult to play on guitar) - How to save a life - and left everyone very happy. It was a little ironic that Grey’s anatomy’s first episode was skipped by all the people at the concert to watch a band that the show made popular. The only negative thing was that all of their songs sounded very similar. I think they should have changed one of the more popular songs to a reggae beat or so to make it seem less like the monotonic Indian left arm pace battery of last year (Sorry, had to throw in a cricket allusion.)
We tried to get closer to the action by using binoculars but unfortunately we did not succeed:
Interestingly the audience seemed to be about 70% women. This was great for Lova and me until we started making the calculations and figured out that the average audience member was born in 1989. We almost felt bad taking in the pulchritude on display… but not that bad.