Vic Theatre – Chicago, IL
November 2, 2009
Witnessing Train perform live in concert for the first time was truly an experience I am grateful to have had. This past Monday night in Chicago, Train played a sold out show at Chicago’s Vic Theatre and I was lucky enough to be there. It is always pretty surreal to see an artist like Train play their songs live before your eyes when you had previously only heard the band’s music on the radio. Train is currently on tour promoting their latest record Save Me, San Francisco. The new album contains my personal favorite Train song to date: “Hey, Soul Sister.” Having had no idea what a rabid fan base the California trio has before this show, I was blown away by how dedicated and ecstatic the audience members were during Train’s performance.
More photos of Train after the jump…
Set List / Chicago
Get To Me
She’s On Fire
When I Look To The Sky
Hey, Soul Sister
It’s About You
Calling All Angels
Save The Day
I Got You
Drops Of Jupiter
Save Me, San Francisco
Dream On (Aerosmith cover)
Halfway through the third song of the night “Get To Me,” lead singer and Train frontman Pat Monahan casually removed his jacket. While it is not unusual for artists to remove articles of clothing once the show kicks into high gear, I did not expect to hear the deafening screams that escaped the mouths of hundreds of women in the crowd when that jacket came off. I quickly came to realize that Patrick Monahan from Train is a bonafide heartthrob and rock god to thousands of middle-aged white women in America. If Chicago fans are any indication, Train is going to have quite the successful fall tour and new album. Of course it helps that lead single “Hey, Soul Sister” is receiving heavy rotation in the country’s third largest commercial radio market.
Four young women from the front row of the general admission floor were brought up on stage during “She’s On Fire” to perform as “Chicago’s own Trainettes” as Monahan put it. Each one of the girls was given a pink t-shirt with the word “Trainettes” printed in black across the front. “This next song is from the Spider Man 2 soundtrack,” Monahan said when introducing “Ordinary.” For Train’s hit “When I Look To The Sky,” Monahan sang the first verse and first chorus without the use of his microphone. Standing alone in the center of the stage with his toes right at the very edge, Monahan sang his heart out projecting his voice all the way to the last row of the Vic’s balcony.
Before launching into their most recent hit “Hey, Soul Sister,” Monahan told fans: “Literally, this is the most difficult song I have ever had to sing.” Well, I’m glad Train’s vocalist pulled it off and recorded the ukulele-fueled, midtempo insanely catchy sing-a-long. I am obsessed with it. It is most definitely my new favorite song and I listen to it several times a day. After performing the group’s massive hit “Calling All Angels,” Monahan looked out into the audience and exclaimed: “I don’t know what you’re saying, but I think it’s something like ‘Pat, you look amazing in those jeans.’ And you know what? You’re right.”
Near the end of “Save The Day” a woman named Dawn was chosen to come on stage and sing to guitarist Jimmy Stafford. Adding her own pole dancing moves while holding court at the mic stand, super fan Dawn took her vocal cues from Monahan and had the time of her life serenading Stafford. After Monahan sang some lines a few times, Dawn got her chance and took off singing “Hey Jimmy…” before Jimmy himself came over and sang into the mic directing his words right back at the lucky fan. Needless to say, I was more impressed by Train’s interaction with fans and relationship with their audience than their music. Not to say their music is not good enough for me. I do like the San Francisco group’s songs. However, what really stands out to me and wins me over is a band’s or artist’s acknowledgment of their fans in a live concert setting.
Even though Monahan chose to use a giant megaphone to sing through during various verses throughout the night, Train needs no assistance when it comes to reaching their audience. Not a Train fan? Check the guys out anyway when they play a city near you. You will be energized via osmosis exuded from fans all around you. Trust me, the vibe is contagious.
Click on the thumbnails to enlarge photos: