Paul Hebert

The Fray and Jack’s Mannequin @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre 07/29/09

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Famous for their piano infused ballads, Denver rockers The Fray came to town on Wednesday with a show that was full of power sans-piano. Lead singer Isaac Slade led the quartet through a 90-minute performance playing hits from the group’s two albums.

Starting off the night with an a cappella version of “Happiness” off the bands 2009 self-titled album Slade showed his amazing vocal control. It didn’t take long for the band to take off soaring, when on the second song of the night they rocked through a very tight version of the 2006 Top-ten hit “Over My Head (Cable Car)” which brought the remainder of the Irvine audience to their feet.

Slade along with band mates drummer Ben Sysocki and guitarists Joe King and Dave Welsh masterfully worked the audience into a frenzy before rolling out a piano for the smash hit “How to Save A Life” off of their 2005 album with the same name. The crowd responded with a fiery energy, as they sung verse after verse, many times so loud it was hard to hear the amplified band.

The band continued to poor on the energy right through their closing number “You Found Me” before leaving the stage for a short intermission. The band returned to the stage and performed a rendition of “Man in the Mirror” as a tribute to the late Michael Jackson, before working through a foursome and ending with “Happiness.

Also on the bill were Orange County natives Jack’s Mannequin. Andrew McMahon lead the band in an awe inspiring 13 song set which featured many of the critically acclaimed songs off the band two albums.

McMahon and supporting cast guitarist, Bobby Anderson, Jonathan Sullivan on Bass, and Jay McMillan on drums kicked the night off with “Dark Blue” off their 2005 release “Everything in Transit.

The next three songs “Crashin,” “Spinning,” and “Swim” are also the first three songs on the bands 2008 release “The Glass Passenger.

Jack’s Mannequin delivered a high energy set, which definitely deserved a co-headlining billing. The band ended the night with a slightly more up-tempo and phenomenal rendition of Tom Petty’s “American Girl.”

The Fray
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Jack’s Mannequin
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Vedera
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