On a rainy Friday night, the citizens of Pittsburgh (and a lot from Erie actually) toughed it out to see Train play what was close enough to be a hometown show for lead singer Pat Monahan who lived in Erie, PA as a kid. With that being said, anticipation was high for them as they were about to take the stage, as for me on the other hand… I personally was unsure of what to expect.
As much as I never like to use the first person until the end of a review, I have to be honest and say I never listen to the radio, only my own music. When listening to Train play the other night I’ve come to realize that anytime the radio did happen to be on my stereo, or any other time I walked into a grocery store, Train plays quite literally every other song… this is no joke. My personal thoughts kept repeating and it sounded like a broken record, “I didn’t know they played this song.” “They play this song too?” “Really? They play that song as well?” “So they play every song on the radio ever?” At this point, I was unsure whether to be impressed because they had so many popular songs or to be kind of disappointed in a band that only plays catchy hit singles of their own. One thing for certain, the crowd loved and sang along all night long with Pat and it seems as if they made a great career choice for themselves in the long run.
Upon watching Train’s performance, aside from the catchy songs that were being performed, and the guest appearances from the opening acts to help with a couple of songs (check setlist below), the performance by the band was somewhat boring. This is not me being biased, just stating a fact that no one really moved around at all on stage except Pat, and even then all he did was walk side to side the whole time; there just wasn’t a whole lot of energy it seemed. During the third song, he was taking people’s phones and taking selfies with them which was very cool of him, and later on the double guitar solo from Luis Maldonado was pretty great, but aside from those two things, the show relied on the display screen in the backdrop to entertain the crowd with images, colors, and lights. That was a lie, there was one more interesting thing, Train played a song titled “Marry Me” so their bus driver could propose to his girlfriend mid-song on stage. FYI she did say yes.
As we were getting towards the end of the show, and they came back out for their encore songs, they dedicated a song to the recently lost Chris Cornell and played a “Black Hole Sun” exactly as it is performed by Soundgarden. Personally, it sounded great, the interest of everyone else though seemed as if they didn’t even know the song or even care about it because it was the complete opposite of every other song played that night. It was kind of upsetting to not see any support for that song but more importantly, Chris Cornell. Probably because everyone at the show had no clue what that song was.
To wrap this up the show was overall consistently good throughout the night, but was lacking in the true concert experience I felt as if nothing really stood out to me. The same experience could have been felt by watching a youtube performance or just turning on the radio. I give Train a lot of credit for creating so many catchy and popular songs over the past few years, I just wish the show would have been less of a “greatest hits” show and more of an actual performance.
All photos ©2017 Dave Mondine
- Drink Up
- 50 Ways to Say Goodbye
- If It’s Love
- Angel in Blue Jeans
- Get to Me
- Save Me, San Francisco
- Calling All Angels
- Bruises (with Natasha Bedingfield)
- Meet Virginia
- Drive By
- Marry Me (with marriage proposal by Pat’s bus driver)
- You Can Call Me Al (Paul Simoncover) (with O.A.R.)
- Working Girl
- Mermaid / Shape of You / Cheap Thrills / Treat You Better / Lost and Found
- Hey, Soul Sister
- Play That Song
- Black Hole Sun (Soundgardencover)
- Drops of Jupiter