A few years back at a house show in Catasauqua, PA Fred Mascherino performed under the name The Color Fred, photos can be seen here. That was in 2016, and a few years before that Fred did some shows as The Color Fred, but nothing major. The few shows here and there made fans speculate that Fred was coming back under his solo name The Color Fred, but nothing really formed until now. In 2019, The Color Fred seems to be back with a new band and ramping up to put out a new e.p. that is close to being done. To celebrate the rebirth, The Color Fred put out a single to tide fans over titled “Don’t Give Up On Me” and play a show in Philadelphia and Brooklyn, NY. It is still unclear when the e.p. will come out, but from all the posts on social media and news outlets, The Color Fred is definitely back.
Opening the show was Hold Down The Ocean, but due to traffic I wasn’t able to see their performance. The second opener of the night was local band Goddamnit whose style of music fuses the sound of Philadelphia punk and Midwest rock bands. For them this local show produced fans that sang along, and Goddamnit also played a new song which sounds different, but in a good way, compared to their previous work. Their last release was in 2017, and a slight change in sound was bound to happen.
My story with Fred Mascherino goes back around 2005. My first year of college was about to end and for a few weeks I was going to tour with a band named Tokyo Rose. I have been a fan of the band for some time, and before the tour started I went down to a church, forget the name just remember it was next to a 7-11, in West Chester, PA to see them perform and talk about the tour. The church was like the F.U. Church in Philadelphia, but on a minor scale, at its peak shows would happen all the time, but eventually it ended and I am unsure why. Since I was in school near the area it was easy for me to check out shows on a regular basis. For the Tokyo Rose show though, Fred came out and did guest vocals on the song “A Reason to Come Home Again”, and the crowd went crazy since Fred was currently in Taking Back Sunday. Fred sang on the actual recording, and was close with some of the guys in the band, but little did I know at the time he lived in West Chester. This explains why he was the secret guest appearance at the show. Tour didn’t even start and already I was thinking the industry was a small world. We went to a local Mexican spot to grab a late night after show bite with Fred then said our goodbyes and I would then do my tour with Tokyo Rose. Didn’t think much after that night until 2007, when Fred would release his first solo album Bend To Break. I won’t go into detail on the impact of the album had on me, but it hit me and would became one of the soundtrack albums to my later college years. I still remember picking up the album at the now gone West Goshen Book and Music Store, a great store not far from my college and downtown West Chester. I would then prefer Fred’s solo career over Taking Back Sunday and follow it till Terrible Things to now. Until my graduation to now I would randomly bump into Fred around the West Chester area. Let it be on the streets or at the Mad Platter Records, we’d chat for about 2 minutes which would lead to finding out his Mom went my college and Color Fred music would come when Terrible Things settles down. It was funny that it constantly happened, but each time Fred was the friendliest and nicest person to where I always asked any new Color Fred music coming?
That brings us to now. The years of waiting are over and The Color Fred released a new song and is playing more shows. The first show back at Kung Fu Necktie was well received with a packed room of diehard fans. Going through a 13 song set, Fred and company went through almost all the songs off his album Bend To Break, which each time one of those songs played I was transported back in time where I saw myself back at college doing all the things I did which was a more carefree and less responsible time. It was a good time and that album was a soundtrack to a lot of drives and adventures. Throughout the whole set Fred would thank the crowd for sticking around and caring about his music. He knew its been a long time since he played these songs and he was forever grateful people stilled cared. This led to him playing his newest song “Don’t Give Up On Me”, which one can take the title and understand the meaning. Also sprinkled in the set were two Terrible Things songs that the crowd sang back without missing a word. I think, for the most part, fans treat Terrible Things’ material as a continuation of The Color Fred because no one seemed confused when he played the songs. Obviously it was clear Fred never stopped playing, for his guitar work and solos showed no rust and were executed flawlessly. Makes one wonder why he ever stopped playing these songs. He ended the show with “Don’t Pretend” and assured the crowd more music is coming and he hopes everyone stays on this ride with him. From the turn out and the smiling faces I can say we are all with you Fred and we can’t wait to see what comes next.