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The Fray get personal with Smith Center crowd

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Tatiana Cirisano.

Treated to Twitter jokes and piano ballads, GW students gathered with their family Saturday night at the Smith Center to see The Fray take center stage for Colonials Weekend.

Photo courtesy of the Fray Facebook page.
Photo courtesy of the Fray Facebook page.

As the lights went down, members of the crowd snatched their iPhones out in anticipation, cheering and stomping their feet on the floor. Lead singer Isaac Slade kicked off the show, saying “How ya doin’, G-dub?,” launching straight into the ballad “Hurricane.”

Slade got personal with the audience right away, spontaneously jumping from the stage into the center aisle within the first 15 minutes of the concert. Students plunged into the aisle, screaming and trying to take photos with the singer.

Throughout the performance, Slade continued to interact with the crowd, running through the aisles a second time and joking with students between songs.

“I didn’t party in college, I don’t know how it works,” Slade said. “Are you gonna tweet each other now or something?”

Devoted fans crowded the Smith Center floor, singing along to every track and cheering after every word Slade spoke. The band’s performance of the 2006 hit “How to Save a Life” had parents and students alike belting out the well-known chorus.

The band played popular tracks like “How to Save a Life” and less-known ballads such as their newest song, “Love Don’t Die.” As soon as the first few keys of tracks like “Never Say Never” could be heard, the crowd fell right back into the excitement.

When the band left the stage an hour into the concert, the audience burst into cheers and more foot-stomping, anxiously inviting an encore. The band returned moments later, and Slade led the crowd in singing a brief strain of Randy Newman’s “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.”

Before closing the show, Slade again got personal with the audience, explaining how the band came to be.

“I thought I was gonna be in this band for two and a half years, maybe. We’ve been in it for 11 and a half,” he said. “We started this trying to quit our jobs. This beats the hell out of a shift at Starbucks. Any baristas here?”

Slade closed the show by telling the crowd, “We’ll see you next summer,” alluding to a possible tour to follow the January 2014 release of the band’s fourth album.

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