Desperately needed rain cleared out in plenty of time for the Fray’s sold-out show June 19 at the Lawn in White River State Park. The bugs, however, were out in full force.
It slightly tarnished an otherwise solid performance by the Denver quartet, its sixth in Indianapolis since issuing its highly regarded debut CD, How to Save a Life.
The Fray mixed up their set, alternating between slow and somber to agile and visceral and plenty in between. They even offered a coffeehouse version of Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie,” with drummer Ben Wysocki doing a spoken-word version of Wyclef Jean’s part.
Playing after dark, the Fray had the luxury of a light show, which included a backdrop that, at certain points, featured spastic variegation and home videos to enhance the effect of their penetrating and reflective pop-rock. Special guests OK Go went on in the heat and glare of sunset — when the fog machines still weren’t having their desired effect.
What the band lacked in multimedia, they made up for in energy. They came out dressed like a Vegas act and tossed Frisbee tambourines to a welcoming audience. Loosely choreographed moves only added to their goofy charm.
Opening act Mae, in comparison, gave a much more measured performance. The Virginia act offered songs both anthemic and contemplative. Time will tell whether they flame out or find a sound uniquely theirs.