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Rave reviews

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As soon as Denver-based quartet The Fray appeared, a wave of commotion grew to the far corners of the Eagles Ballroom at the Rave. For an hour and a half, they captivated an audience bent by surprise.

Opening right away with the powerful rocker, "Little House," it became evident that The Fray would provide much more than an ordinary performance. Lead vocalist Isaac Slade spent most of the concert behind his strong, yet poignant piano-playing, his voice crisp and lingering. At times, their music bellowed and roared with excitement and passion as all four members of the band united in their sounds.

Their chemistry was almost tangible as Slade shared vocal duties with lead guitarist Joe King on songs like "Heaven Forbid" and "She Is." Drummer Ben Wysocki was impressive throughout the concert as his slick drumming ignited every song. After the first couple of songs, it seemed as if The Fray and their audience had developed a sort of dialogue where both fed off the excitement of the other.

Nearly halfway through their set, The Fray unveiled "Vienna." Their performance caught the breath of the audience as the instruments faded halfway through the song, highlighting Slade's haunting, provocative vocals. For a brief moment, it felt as if the stage had melted into the shadows of the ballroom. Silence had not only captured the audience, but the performers as well.

Perhaps this was the most intriguing aspect of their show: The Fray was confident, yet modest. They were powerful, yet serene. They were both electrifying and thought-provoking. Not only did they play their music for their fans — they let their music speak through them.

Following this venture, they returned to play "Look After You" and "Over My Head (Cable Car)," both of which the band encouraged the audience to sing. After teasing the crowd by leaving the stage prematurely, the band reemerged with Slade telling the audience about his grandfather's wedding that weekend. With guitar in hand for the only time during the concert, Slade played "Happiness" and "Route 66" alone in honor of his grandfather. Then, they closed with "Trust Me" and the ever-popular "How to Save a Life" which brought the band and their audience together one final time.

The Fray came from nowhere to achieve the wild popularity and success that followed the release of their debut album How to Save a Life in 2005. Perhaps it was only fitting that the band provided a surprising and stunning performance on Saturday.

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