Thursday, March 19, 2009

St Paddy's Day with The Fray

So how did you spend St Patrick's Day? I know a lot of people were decked out in green, sitting in a pub, downing pints of Guinness. Being a pretty weak drinker, I'd gone for a banana smoothie and was completely sober at The Fray's inaugural Perth gig at Metro City nightclub. :P

There are probably a lot of people reading this who think The Fray are a pretty soft band, and I guess you're right, but allow me to go off-topic for this post. ;)

Bon Jovi is streets ahead of any other artist in terms of their influence on me, but The Fray would have to be up there on a list of my favourite bands. I've never even watched Grey's Anatomy, the show credited with putting The Fray on the map, although their music has also featured on Scrubs which is one of my favourites. But I actually discovered The Fray the old fashioned way, by listening to a normal commercial radio station (That was only about three years ago but these days I'd be more likely to find a new band via the internet). Something about "Over My Head (Cable Car)" got my attention so I went onto MySpace, heard "How to Save a Life" and there was no turning back after that. I think their latest self-titled album is superior though.

I guess The Fray appeals to my piano background. Isaac Slade doesn't have the strongest voice but the emotion he conveys with it is the hallmark of The Fray. It's not overly original stuff, but it is heartfelt. And it's not Bon Jovi either -- Isaac spends most of his time on stage at the piano -- but you don't need to dance and jump around to be a good front man, and doing that wouldn't work with The Fray anyway. I also like that they're still playing very intimate venues in Australia at least, which, due to the demand, is something Bon Jovi will probably never do again.

There are some superficial similarities; The Fray haven't had an official bassist since Caleb Slade (although they haven't had the SAME unofficial one that entire time!), and guitarist Joe King takes lead vocals on "Ungodly Hour" a la Richie Sambora. Apart from that though, it's like comparing apples and oranges, and I think that's a good thing.

How to Save a Life - The Fray, live in Perth - March 17, 2009

So... what non-Jovi bands/artists do you listen to?

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