I have to start this review with a little bit of a moan. Barely three songs into Train’s set and a venue usher tapped me on the shoulder and told me I couldn’t take photos with my camera, only with my phone. Are you freaking kidding me?! In what bizarre world does that make sense?! Fair enough if you have a no cameras or phones policy full stop but what difference does it make if I’m using the camera on my phone or a separate camera?! Now I know what you’re thinking – you’re thinking that I was there with my DSLR camera changing lenses and zooming in on Pat’s wrinkles or with my camcorder (do they still exist?!) livestreaming the concert for a pretty fee …. Nope, I had a compact camera that fits in my pocket and wasn’t taking any videos at all. I can’t tell you how much this annoyed me.
Then there were the couple sitting in front of me who between them must have gotten up to get drinks or use the loo at least ten times. The guy seemed to only be there and know Train’s recent singles and spent the rest of the time scrolling through Memes on Facebook and showing his girlfriend who I am pretty sure had been dragged along to the concert and had never heard any of Train’s music before ….
ANYWAY, back to music itself. The support act was a British singer-songwriter who I hadn’t heard of before called Hannah Grace. She is most famous for doing a cover of Praise You which is currently used on the Lloyds Bank TV advert. She was accompanied just by a guitar and showcased some killer vocals. After her set she met fans and I saw her come up and sit near me in the Circle to enjoy Train’s show with a few friends.
Onto Train and Pat Monahan is the ultimate showman. He knows how to interact with the fans and put on a fun show, taking Instagram videos, selfies with the fans and throwing T-shirts into the crowd. Therefore, should it really matter that the two founding members of the band, Jimmy Stafford and Scott Underwood, are no longer part of the lineup? Yes and no. On the one hand in the same way that Ryan Tedder is the only member of OneRepublic that people can name and Chris Martin is Coldplay, Pat Monahan is Train. He didn’t mention the line-up change but gave the newbies Drew on drums and Luis on guitar a chance to shine with solos very early on in the set.
One other new addition to the band and one that I absolutely cannot fathom what she brings to the band is the female backing vocalist Nikita. Yes that’s right a female vocalist. In Train. Because of course just what the majority of Train songs are calling out for is some female harmonies. NOT. I can think of maybe two songs where I could actually hear her voice. The rest of the time she was rocking some dance moves in the corner like she was one of The Supremes or something. I am sure she is a very talented lady but there is no place for her in Train. Case in point: when Pat came to introduce Bruises he said that he had no one to sing it with so he was going to come down into the audience to sing it. ERM, HELLO PAT HOW ABOUT THE FEMALE VOCALIST YOU BROUGHT INTO THE BAND?! Did you just forget all about her? I mean I know she’s very forgettable but still ….
Pat has a powerhouse of a voice and at times it seemed like there was a deliberate competition between him and the drums about who could be loudest. Therefore one of my favourite moments of the show was when Pat sang Always Midnight from his solo album acapella and without microphone and then a few of the others came out and provided vocal harmonies. Needless to say that song got the loudest applause from the audience.
Other highlights for me were funnily enough the cover songs. They covered Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’ and Queen’s Under Pressure and riffs from a couple of other songs in between the mashup of Mermaid and Lost And Found. No surprise that they pushed those two songs together as they are basically the same song with different lyrics! That may be why Lost And Found is my favourite song from their recent album.
Overall it wasn’t a bad concert but I have been to better Train concerts.