The TCU concert series will welcome The Fray to campus on Sept. 9, a university official said.
The band has been nominated for multiple Grammy awards in its career, and has become one of the more mainstream groups on the music scene. They are currently touring with U2, and finished recording their third and upcoming album.
Brad Thompson, student activities coordinator at the university, said he was excited about the change in music styles, and that The Fray will continue the tradition of bands with widespread likability.
“Every artist won’t be able to work for every single person, but when we look at when we do these shows is that we try to find an artist that will give us the most bang for our buck…We're trying to make sure that we really get a good artist that will bring a lot of people and give us a good value for the money.”
Thompson said the student government has been in talks with the band since January. When the group goes about deciding which band to select to perform for students, they go through a variety of factors. One of the things that helps influence the decision is the feedback from students. Thompson said the response from online surveys from them helped shape the move towards rock for the concert this year.
He also said the ultimate decision on who to bring in is based on much more than a simple wish list of bands or artists and asking them to play.
“It’s not as easy as saying, ‘Oh, we want the Fray,’” Thompson said. “There’s a lot of factors that are involved. There’s cost, whether they are available on the week we want, whether it’s a good fit for the university, so there’s a lot that goes into it.”
After deciding to change musical styles, they then looked for a group that had played for college students in the past, and one who can perform well in a live setting. After looking through several bands, the one that came up consistently in talks was The Fray, Thompson said.
The biggest difference between this year’s concert and last year’s with Lady Antebellum is the overall cost. The concert this year will cost “significantly less” than what they had to pay last year, Thompson said.
Part of the reason behind the dip in spending this year was based on having a large concert every two or three years with state-of-the-art equipment and a band that may command a higher price tag than the school would normally pay. He said this year would be one of those “normal” years.
He also said they will be expecting fewer people than there were at the concert last year. According to an article from the Daily Skiff, an estimated 6,000 people showed up to watch Lady Antebellum at the Commons. He said last year was an anomaly because of the high number of faculty and staff that attended the concert last year. The crowd, Thompson said, will be more like it was in years past.
“We usually plan around 4,000 to 4,500 normally,” he said.
The other major difference is the concert will be taking place a month earlier than normal, he said. There will be some other potential tweaks to the setup for the concert, but the details are still being fleshed out at this point.
Thompson said he’s been proud of the efforts of the people involved in putting on these concerts, and that other major bands like The Fray have heard the positive feedback regarding the atmosphere in the concerts. This feedback in turn results in a greater interest in performing on college campuses, he said.
“We try to build a consistent track record with the concerts we’ve had in the past, with it being successful but also bringing in large artists,” he said. “I think we’ve been able to prove over the years that we’re able to do this and do it well, so it kind of helps making them feel comfortable working for universities.”