Train @ Shepherd's Bush Empire, London (25 October 2010)

I can officially say that Train is best band that I’ve seen in concert ever.

They filmed the whole concert which is going to air on MTV World Stage AND they filmed their music video for their new single (it’s a Christmas one and you can hear it on YouTube) so we’re all going to be in the music video AND a Coca Cola Advert.  So so awesome that they chose THIS concert to do all that.  🙂

Also Pat Monahan stage-dived!  Do you know how much I’ve wanted to go to a gig where there was stage-diving?!  I thought it was outlawed due to health & safety reasons.  I touched his hand and my friend poked him in the back which I thought was more appropriate than all the girls who were pinching his bum.

The support act was someone called AM.  I had never heard of him before but I listened to some of his stuff beforehand and there were quite a few songs that I really liked (his music has also been played on Friday Night Lights, Brothers & Sisters, Greek etc.).  He played them but they sounded quite different.  I think the bass/amplifier was too loud and was drowning him out.  I always feel a bit sorry for support acts as it’s sort of awkward as no one knows the songs but he managed to get the crowd going with a cover of the old Motown classic ‘I’ll Be There’.

The amazing thing about Pat Monahan is as well as being such an awesome rock singer (the way he can shout the lyrics whilst being in tune is spectacular) is that he’s a born entertainer and that he really got what the audience would want.  He threw guitar picks, drum sticks and T-shirts into the crowd and during ‘She’s On Fire’ he put on this awful country hat and they “countrified” up part of the song and then threw the hat into the crowd (which we almost got but this crazy rabid fan snatched it out of my friend’s hand).  Then after that he got 6 young female fans onto the stage, gave them “Trainette” T-shirts and told them to dance and sing along on stage to the rest of the song.

During ‘Marry Me’ he said he was going to come down into the crowd and walk around and he asked everyone not to laugh at how short he is (he’s not actually that short!) and not to hurt him ….. and then he took his shirt off to put on a plain white one.  You should have heard the crowd scream!  Then he came down and walked around and although I never particularly liked that song before, I certainly do now.  When he got back on stage, he signed the T-shirt and took it off (more screaming) and threw it into the crowd and this middle-aged guy caught it and everyone laughed!

Pat spoke a bit about how they were so sorry that they stopped touring England for awhile and they said they will never make that mistake again (I think that’s why they came back this time even though they toured earlier in the year, and they said they’re coming back in the Spring too which is a lot for an American band which isn’t too well known here – though you wouldn’t have known that last night as it was all sold out and so crowded).  Then he said he wanted to sing a very personal song without the microphone and he sang “When I Look To The Sky” acapella and it was incredible.  So so beautiful.  And you could tell afterwards that he was quite emotional.

My friend and I and I had a bet as to what song Train would open with.  I said that they would play ‘Hey, Soul Sister’ either first or last (before the encore) – they played it last.  She thought they would open with ‘Save Me, San Francisco’ but as it turned out they opened with ‘Parachute’.  I can’t remember the setlist but they definitely played ‘Words’, ‘I Got You’, ‘Get To Me’, ‘Calling All Angels’ (which always makes me think of CSI:NY).  During ‘If It’s Love’, Pat told everyone to get their “cellphones” out and he took a photo of everyone which he then posted on Twitter.  I loved the live version of ‘Save Me, San Francisco’ , especially the “oh hell no” bit.  “Hey, Soul Sister” was absolutely amazing.  ❤  I loved the happy look on Pat’s face whenever he heard the crowd singing along with him.  It was like he was genuinely enjoying every minute of it.

The encore started with ‘Drops Of Jupiter’ and then he announced that as well as filming the MTV World Stage tonight, they were also going to film the music video for their Christmas song “Shake Up Christmas” (also going to be used during Coca Cola adverts apparently) and he told us a couple of lines in the chorus so we could still sing along.  It’s a really catchy song!  Now whilst we were waiting for Train to come on, my friend and I were talking about how we had never been to a concert where, at the end, they let balloons/bits of paper/fake snow come down.  Or rather we had been to concerts where this happened but we were in the stands or whatever and not in the centre so didn’t get to experience it.  I told her that that mostly happened in arenas and during pop concerts rather than rock concerts but because they were filming the music video, loads of red and white bits of paper came down from the ceiling!  Seriously, it’s weird how happy flying bits of paper can make you!  It was the icing on the cake.

After that Pat said thank you for helping him with that and if anyone had any requests, he would sing a verse and a chorus of a few songs.  People shouted stuff out and I think he did ‘Free’, ‘Meet Virginia’ and ‘Mississippi’ (he asked the girl who asked for that whether she wanted to come on stage and dance with him during that as it’s such a romantic song but she was too scared.  Lol).

Then he did his whole stage-diving thing (you can actually see us in this vid.  lol).  And they ended with ‘This Ain’t Goodbye’.

Seriously, most amazing concert ever.  Like I said, the singing and the music was incredible but as a band they really love their fans.  I mean during songs, Pat would kneel down, take a camera off a lucky person at the front and take a photo of himself and that person and he was constantly pulling funny faces and making fun of himself.    My feet were absolutely killing me afterwards that it was a miracle I managed to run to make sure I got the last train home but it was so so worth it.

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