Getting intimate with The Fray at Plains Township’s Mohegan Sun Pocono
PLAINS TOWNSHIP — Wyoming Valley fans of The Fray will be some of the first to hear the band’s new material live when the band plays an intimate local venue.
On Nov. 5, The Fray will play Mohegan Sun Pocono’s Keystone Grand Ballroom — the day before, “Through The Years: The Best of The Fray” will be released. The career retrospective includes hits like “How to Save a Life” and “Over My Head (Cable Car),” but the band is also using this opportunity to introduce three new tracks. Guitarist/vocalist Joe King said one track is “classic Fray” and the second is “a more modern approach.” Fans have already heard the third — it’s the band’s latest single, “Singing Low.”
“I wrote that in Denver and just was kind of obsessed with ‘Stranger Things’ specifically, and I think that just kind of filtered into my writing as I was watching the show,” King said. “I think at this point in my career I don’t really care about charts necessarily, I just purely care about putting things out that I’m proud of. I’ve played the game for so long and I know that’s relevant and means a lot in this business but more so I just want to play music that I love.”
The game may not be important to King, but that doesn’t mean his band didn’t play it well. Their first two albums, 2009’s self-titled release and the album that rocketed them to stardom, 2005’s “How to Save a Life,” are both certified platinum by the American Recording Industry Association of America. That’s a lot of album sales — over a million for each — but according to King, the important aspect of that statistic is the amount of people with whom The Fray connects.
“Honestly there’s no greater feeling than being on stage and being with your fans and they’re singing every lyric,” King said. “Each song has a different connection point with the various fans that are there at the show. To be able to play for them — and be part of their story with our songs — it’s the ultimate. It’s why we do this, and it’s beyond what I even thought when I was dreaming about being in a band — what it could feel like.”
On Nov. 5, fans will have a chance to sing those lyrics back to King and his band mates. The setting is already an intimate one, but King said the band has something special planned that will bring the crowd even closer to its core.
“Right now we have a portion of the show that’s probably the most intimate that we’ve been with the crowd,” King said. “We kind of strip everything away — strip production, strip the lights, kind of everything — and we simplify it. We’ve never done that before. That becomes a visceral moment for us. It’s an exciting moment, it’s just us and the song.”
Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLArts
IF YOU GO
Who: The Fray with American Authors
When: 8 p.m. Nov. 5. Doors open 7 p.m.
Where: Mohegan Sun Pocono’s Keystone Grand Ballroom, 1289 Highway 315, Wilkes-Barre
How Much: $37.50 plus fees if purchased through Ticketmaster.com. Tickets can be purchased free of fees at Mohegan Sun Pocono’s on-site box office