The Fray and Kelly Clarkson play Cosmo
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The co-headlining tour de force brings an energetic performance to the Cosmopolitan’s Chelsea Ballroom
She didn’t rely on the angry girl rock that overpowers her early albums. Clarkson debuted a softer side with songs from her new album Stronger like “Dark Side,” “Forgive You,” “You Love Me” and the duet “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” which she sang with her lead guitarist, Chris Rodriguez.
This new sound was a nice departure from her usual heartbroken, revenge-seeking, betrayed ex-girlfriend voice that seeps into most of her songs.
As a fan, I also appreciated how Clarkson made sure to keep the audience involved in every aspect of her show. From pointing the mic to the crowd and having us sing a chorus, or asking the stereotypical question “How ya feelin’ Las Vegas?!”, she kept momentum up and the fans cheering.
At one point she recalled how she was too poor to attend concerts growing up and, on the rare occasions that she did get to a live show, she was always in the very back of the venue. From there she walked through the crowd singing a cover of Fun.’s hit “We Are Young,” and her single
“Already Gone,” all while shaking hands with fans and occasionally wishing people Happy Birthday.
She continued this appreciation theme by performing a fan request (Britney Spears’s “Everytime” accompanied by a local harpist) and inviting members of the crowd to dance with her on stage for her closing number, “Stronger.”
All in all, Clarkson blew me away with her performance. Her continued enthusiasm and power house vocals proved to everyone in the audience why she really is America’s idol.
Next up was The Fray. Let me preface this by saying that The Fray is one of my favorite bands, and this is the third time I’ve seen them live.
Aside from the tunes off their new album, Scars & Stories, the band, unfortunately, didn’t bring anything new to their live performance.
Much to my surprise, the band opened with “Syndicate,” a lesser known song off their sophomore self-titled album. From there, with his piano front and center, lead singer Issac Slade serenaded the crowd with his raspy voice, belting out their most popular songs “How to Save a Life,”
“Look After You,” “You Found Me,” and “Over My Head (Cable Car).”
In between the band’s most well-known songs, The Fray sprinkled new auditory gems like “Turn Me On,” “I Can Barely Say,” “Here We Are” and closed their set with their current single, “Heartbeat.”
Overall, The Fray was good, but not great, sounding too much like a louder version of their albums and minimally interacting with the audience. Even their new songs were not a departure from the melancholy, aching sound that characterizes most of their material. But, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, right?