Desperate for a pee, I walked down the steps of the Charter One Pavilion
and out to the toilets and what I saw explained the subdued atmosphere of those sat inside watching. There were people everywhere, drinking, eating, chatting to each other or chatting on their phones and the VIP area was rammed, the prawn sandwich brigade I thought had arrived at music concerts.
I was at The Fray
gig on Wednesday and at times they were an irrelevance to their surroundings and the people that came to stare. To be honest they didn't help themselves, lead singer Isaac Slade didn't actually say anything until half an hour into their performance and the 'piano rock band' struggled to build any relationship with a young, very young, crowd and their gas-gurgling SUV driving mothers who sat staring at their feet.
The Fray, who hail from Denver, weren't actually that bad, in fact at times they were quite good, not that the crowd seem to recognise it. Only their biggest hit Over My Head (Cable Car)
got any kind of rousing response.
The band ran through their How to Save a Life
album as if they couldn't wait to get back on their tour bus, a few new songs were thrown in for good measure and then completely out of character the four piece did a take on Shakira's Hips Don't Lie
, which was actually quite humorous, but of course wasted on the VIP lounge.
They did finish with a decent rendition of Look After You
after the shortest encore in history as all around us people poured out of the outdoor arena. In fact when they finally signed off with a wave to a half-empty venue, there was a collective sigh of relief.
It was a shame because the Charter One (its a bank) Pavilion on Northerly Island
is a wonderful setting, with the lake and it's fireworks behind it and Soldier Field and the Chicago skyline framing the stage perfectly. But no one seemed to care. Shame.