Monday, April 30, 2012

OMG, It's "The Fray"!

If this tour consisted of all women, when I stepped out of our green room and encountered a tour lady, she might say to me, "I just came back from the most adorable vintage shop down the street right across from the venue! You must check out their 50's dress selection. Also, if you walk a little further there is a "mom and pop" cake shop with the the most delicious banana cream cupcakes you've ever tasted!" Of course, in reality, the tour consists of all males with Dia and I being the exception, so our conversations with musicians we encounter back stage proceed a little differently.

Yesterday, Joe, "The Fray's" charming and charismatic stage-right guitar player, pulled out his iPhone while greeting Carlo and I as we changed strings on our guitars. (Well, as Carlo changed strings on our guitars.) "Check this out! Today we went fishing, and we found an alligator. Look! That's me grabbing him by the tail and dragging him backwards. That's what you're supposed to do, you see." He focused intently on his iPhone screen as he pointed out the menacing jaws of the alligator that he appeared to indeed be dragging backward along the sidewalk. "Then", he paused for effect, "I tried to grab onto his snout, because that's how the real pros do it." His face squished into concerned wrinkles, "but he squirmed away…"

So much for those quaint conversations about frilly clothes and tasty delectables.

"Wow, fishing and alligators. You guys have had quite a day!" I exclaimed politely, just dying inside to discuss if the band hires someone to dress them, and who Joe's hair stylist might be?

The stage manager called our band to set up our gear on stage in that moment, so Joe sauntered off back to his green room, and Carlo and I began pushing our amps up the ramps to the stage.

I've passed Isaac, "The Fray's" lead singer in the halls backstage a few times. He always gives me a gracious smile as he hurries on his way to his next interview or sound check or wherever it is lead singers are so eager to rush off to. If I would have crossed Isaac Slade from "The Fray's" path a few years ago, my voice might have become a tad shaky, and my legs might have failed to hold me up, but since I've grown up just a little since then, and the whole "touring" bit I have experienced has demystified the mystique of most well-known musicians and bands, I found myself quite capable of nodding hello to Isaac with no danger of my falling over.

Dia announces from the stage each day how "excited to I am to be on tour with 'The Fray' because they are such nice guys". Maybe some people in the audience think that she says that about every band we tour with, but she really is telling the truth in this case. All of them introduced themselves to us the very first day we joined the tour. Rob, our guitar tech/merch guy, told us just yesterday that all the members of The Fray watch our 30-minute set every day.

Yesterday, Nick and I snuck out into the audience to watch "The Fray". They have quite an elaborate production, with giant swaths of cloth streaming down from the ceiling of the auditorium on stage. Explosions of pink, green, and blue lights change with the rhythm of the kick drum, swimming along the silky back drop, surrounding the band in an ephemeral dance of light and sound and energy. 

Isaac dances around the stage, he leaps right up into the faces of the audience in the front rows, swaying his hips and back and forth to the rhythm. For the finale they played a medley of all of their hits that I instantly recognized from my trusty car radio. The brilliant colored spotlights, during their encore, erupted first to focus on the band members, and then just on Isaac blasting away on his piano, and then out to the audience, blinding them momentarily before returning to the stage. 

And then black, and clapping, and cheering. 



  1. you know what's funny, meg? when i was taking pics for you, dia, and the rest of the band in fairfax, I was able to hold my cool and stay calm but inside i was all excited. It was my very first big show photography. i think for me being able to meet a lot of artists from the shows i've been to helped me stay calm when i meet my favorite bands/artists that i support. at least I hope it seemed that way in fairfax :).

    It was just funny when you guys said it was entertaining to see me run around and off the stage to take pics of you guys :). i miss the whole band, back back to DC/VA soon!

  2. Ha! I think I'm the polar opposite of you here Meg. Most of my close friends are guys, so it's gotten to the point that if my girl friends try to talk to me about hair or clothes I just want to run away. Bring on the video games and camping talks!
    Ya know, I've never actually listened to the Fray. Apart from a single or two. I'm glad to hear that they're treating you all well.

  3. I wish there was a NY show i would buy tickets just to see you guys again but there isnt :( have fun on the rest of the tour :)

  4. I'm glad to hear you guys have been fortunate to tour this year with musicians whom you respect and who respect you.

    It's pleasing and "serendipitous" (never thought I would ever use that word) that Dia's participation on The Voice made me look into and love not only her "Red" album, but also the prior music of Meg & Dia, Blake Shelton, and other artists on the show. And now that you're touring with The Fray, I'm starting to check out and buy their stuff beyond the familiar few songs I've heard of theirs on the radio. So really, no worries, The Fray should be happy that YOU are with them this time! :)