The Denver, Colo.-based rock band had humble beginnings in 2002, according to the band’s website www.thefray.com. Former schoolmates Isaac Slade (vocals, piano) and Joe King (guitar, vocals) reconnected after graduation and began writing songs that struck a chord with local audiences. The band was soon joined by Ben Wysocki (drums) and Dave Welsh (guitar), completing the quartet.
Three albums into their music career, The Fray has become famous for its piano-rock sound, which is comparable in style to British alternative rock band Coldplay. The Fray released its third studio album, “Scars & Stories,” on Feb. 7, which is a strong comeback from the lull of its self-titled second album. The band has progressed musically, as “Scars & Stories” incorporates more guitar and tones down the trademark piano.
“Heartbeat,” the first single on “Scars & Stories,” debuted in October at No. 43 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. According to the website, the song sold more than 50,000 digital copies in its first week of release. “Heartbeat” takes the best of The Fray’s original sound and makes it fresh with an energetic mix of upbeat piano notes, fervent guitar chords and poignant lyrics.
“Heartbeat” is reminiscent in theme to the band’s most popular song to date, “How To Save A Life,” which appeared on the band’s double-platinum album of the same name in 2005. The song has continued to resonate with listeners of all ages, particularly those struggling with life-changing issues.
On the band’s website, Slade said “How To Save A Life” was inspired by his experience as a mentor to a crack-addicted teenager.
“He was a recovering addict, coming out of a really tough teenage life,” Slade said. “Thankfully, he was on his way out of that life, so he was able to really look back with some objectivity. The song is more of a memoir about his slow motion descent and all the relationships he lost along the way.”
The Fray approaches serious issues with emotional songs and power ballads that tug on the heartstrings. Don’t be discouraged, however; Saturday’s show promises to be a mix of danceable songs alongside the heart-wrenching ballads.
On the band’s website, Wysocki said he prefers when the band headlines instead of opening a show.
“When you’re headlining, you can take a little more ownership of the crowd,” he said. “They’re yours for an hour and a half or so and you gotta treat them right, take care of them, be responsible with them, do the best you can to entertain them.”
The Fray performs in the Silver Legacy Resort Casino’s Grande Exposition Hall at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Ticket prices start at $49.50. For more information, visit www.silverlegacyreno.com or www.ticketmaster.com.