On an early Autumn night, the Angel Orensanz Center, a magnificent landmark in the heart of New York City’s Lower East Side, hosted a stunning performance by multi-platinum rockers The Fray. The Denver-based band played a mix of such fan favorites as the Top Ten hits “How to Save a Life,” “Over My Head,” and “You Found Me” alongside new material from the album Scars and Stories, including the current hit single, “Heartbeat.” The show marked the first time some of these songs were ever played on stage, and concluded with a powerful version of the brand-new ballad “Be Still,” performed solo at the piano by singer Isaac Slade.
The Fray gained airplay on local Denver radio with the EPs Movement and Reason (2002-2003), attracting the attention of Epic Records. Touring stints with Weezer and Ben Folds preceded the release of the band’s first single, “Over My Head,” which was followed shortly by their debut album’s title track, “How To Save a Life.” The popularity of both singles propelled the band to international success, and in 2006, How To Save a Life broke the record for highestselling digital album. Their self-titled 2009 release hit Number One on the Billboard charts, and was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 2010 Grammy Awards. Following recent dates opening for U2, the Fray’s upcoming third album, Scars and Stories, is set to be released February 7, 2012.
The Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts was established in 1992 and in a short period of time has affirmed itself as a strong anchor of the visual and performing arts in New York City. The Center itself is a neo-gothic building, which was designed as a synagogue in 1849 by Berlin architect Alexander Seltzer. He drew inspiration for his design from the cathedral of Cologne and the German romantic movement of Heinrich Heine and Beethoven. Sculptor Angel Orensanz bought this venerable structure in 1986, first for use as his own studio, and then to make it again a beacon of education and culture in the city of New York.