In the here today, gone tomorrow world of pop music, it's hard to believe that The Fray have been around for more than a decade and would have enough material for a greatest hits album.
And, yet, both of those statements are true. The Fray has been around since 2004 and they will release their greatest hits album, Through the Years: The Best of the Fray, on Friday. Conveniently enough, that's also the day The Fray will headline a show at the Orpheum Theatre in Boston with special guest American Authors opening.
"We're at an interesting point in our career," guitarist and founding member David Welsh told me last week in a phone interview. "We've gotten too big to play clubs but we're not really at the point where we're playing 20,000-seat arenas right now."
Powered by their biggest hits: 2005's "Over My Head (Cable Car)", 2006's "'How to Save a Life" and 2009's "You Found Me," the band has played those large arenas, but in the Denver-based band's corner of the rock universe, there aren't a lot of acts with whom The Fray can tour.
Other than Train, which dominates the adult contemporary charts, you've got acts like Matt Nathanson, Andy Grammer and Chris Daughtry. That leads to a lot of package tours, but Welsh has been around long enough to have experienced all of that. What he's not sure of is where things are headed.
"I'm not really sure what's next after this tour," Welsh said, referencing the end of the group's deal with Epic Records, with whom the band has been since their 2005 major-label debut, How to Save a Life. All four of the band's studio albums, including 2014's Helios, have either gone platinum and/or reached the top 10 on the Billboard album chart. "We have a really good, devoted fanbase."
No one knows what the future holds, so for now, just enjoy The Fray and what they've done to this point.
One for the road
Two weeks ago I trekked up to Hampton Beach to check out Styx. I've seen them multiple times, but never in an "evening with" format. The longer show (which ran two-plus hours) plus a rabid Casino Ballroom crowd (if it wasn't sold out, it was close to capacity) made for an enjoyable evening.
The band ripped through their biggest hits, including "Too Much Time on My Hands," "Fooling Yourself (Angry Young Man)," "Lady," "Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)," "Come Sail Away" and "Renegade."
But they also had time for deeper cuts like "Snowblind" and "Pieces of Eight" as well as inspired covers of "I Am the Walrus" and "Space Oddity."