Train returned to Nashville, TN to perform another one of their memorable concerts… at least they tried before Mother Nature stepped in. Train performed about fifty minutes of their California 37 Tour set before they were ordered to leave the stage and say goodbye to their 5,000 plus SRO Train fans. Mike Arnold, Brian Hasbrook, and Tom Thompson of Concert Blast were on hand to capture the live experience through a concert review podcast with lots of live clips while the fun lasted. Enjoy listening to our podcast with lots of live clips and/or reading the written blog concert review!
Written by Mike Arnold
Train’s California 37 Tour came through Nashville, TN and of course Brian Hasbrook, Tom Thompson, and myself were more than ready for another Train show. We’ve covered Train several times and also covered the short-lived Pat Monahan solo tour.
Upon arriving at Nashville’s outdoor venue, The Woods At Fontanel, Brian, Tom, and I got our credentials and rushed to our seats to catch Matt Kearney’s set. The problem is once we arrived to see the stage, the fans there told us that Matt had already performed and Train is about to take the stage. We couldn’t believe it! What’s the Deal? It’s only 8pm! Train wasn’t supposed to take the stage at 9pm! We then discovered that the venue was monitoring a storm going across Kentucky and headed toward Nashville. The best thing to do for safety’s sake is to cut everyone’s set in half and get as much of Train’s set on as possible. Smart Thinking!
Once we discovered what was going on, Brian Hasbrook took off to the photography section to prepare for his photo session with Train while Tom and I decided to start recording the introduction of the podcast. We were about 30 seconds into the introduction when we heard the Train locomotive sounds coming through the PA System. We ran to our seats to catch the opening and noticed Scott Underwood already sitting behind his large drum set along with the backup musicians and singers. Jimmy Stafford entered the stage next and followed was Pat Monahan. Before we knew it an instrumentalist appeared blowing a trumpet to introduce the first song of the set, “50 Ways To Say Goodbye”. We sure were glad we arrived early enough to catch Matt Kearny’s set!
Train knew they had to hurry through their set to get in as much of their music for the fans as possible before the storm comes. The second song of the set was another one from the California 37 album, “This Will Be My Year”. I call this song a follow up to Billy Joel’s hit, “We Didn’t Start the Fire” as it goes through history, some personal and some not. Pat yells, “Good Evening Nashville!”, before continuing with the song from Save Me San Francisco, “If It’s Love”. The keyboards hummed as Pat Monahan sang a line as if they were going to perform the song, “Parachute”, but before all the instruments kicked in, the music stopped. The Pat speaks a line, “She doesn’t own a dress, her hair is always a mess.” One of the Train fans favorite Train songs, “Meet Virginia”.
Pat then picked up a megaphone and the crowd knew what was coming as they sang along with him a few lines from the Doobie Brother’s classic hit, “Black Water” which is actually the intro to the Train song, “I Got You”. With the storm getting closer to Nashville, this was the time in the set to begin cutting songs from the list and start playing the best of Train.
Pat explains, “We are going to go until someone forces us off. Maybe you guys should start yelling out what you want to hear!” With people screaming various songs, Pat says, “That sounds like a whole lot of gibberish to me!” Pat continues, “We are going to play some songs we know you are going to want to hear.”
The band begins to play a soft melody and pat begins singing The Rolling Stones song, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and transitioned into “Calling All Angels”. This brought out the singing from those in attendance. The sing along continued as Pat urged everyone to repeat lines and sing along to the title track of their last album, “Save Me San Francisco”.
Pat took a video camera from the staff in front of the stage and said, to the crowd, “I have to show you something.” Pat pointed the camera toward the crowd and the video of the large crowd displayed on the huge media screen backdrop. Pat said, “Man we used to play the Exit In and now look at this! This is incredible! Thank you so much!”
For those not familiar with the Exit In, it is one of the premier music nightclubs that upcoming bands play and it holds about 400 for a Sold-Out performance. This show was at The Woods at Fontanel Amphitheatre, which holds 4,500, but much more than 5,000 was in attendance that night. Brian Hasbrook predicted 7,000 were there.
The stage went completely dark, which I began to think, “They are wasting time, get going!” What they were doing was preparing for the setup of their song which Jimmy Stafford put on a ukulele for their huge hit, “Hey, Soul Sister”. While they were playing the song, members of the road crew threw out beach balls with ‘California 37’ printed on them. The show continued with more hits, this one from California 37, “Drive By”. Throughout the song, Pat was signing beach balls with his sharpie and at times he took pictures of himself with iPhones that belonged to the fans up against the stage barrier.
Pat took a moment to address the storm coming, “ We’ve just been given the two song warning. Hey man, I’m way bummed out! I’m so sorry, but I would rather we were all be safe and listen to a little less music ok? Everyone’s going to Jimmy’s house afterwards. He’ll fix us some drinks.” Jimmy must have recently moved to Nashville, which we weren’t aware of.
Pat continued the conversation, “The other day we did this song in Atlanta and they sang every word so great, but I have a feeling that Nashville can kick Atlanta. Let’s See”
The acoustic guitar began picking, Pat began singing, and the audience joined in on key… After all, Music City wasn’t going to allow Atlanta out sing us! As we all joined in on the romantic hit song, “Marry Me“.
To introduce the last song of the night Pat was sad to say, “Thank you so much for being here. I’m so sorry that the weather is doing what it’s going to do, and we just wanna be safe, we want our crew guys to be safe and everybody out there. We plan on being here very soon. Thank you for everything.”
With that introduction, Train performed their last number of the night, “Drops of Jupiter” and everyone immediately left the venue due to the multiple storm warnings we received throughout the evening.
The sad thing is, we only had light rain for about 30 minutes. The storms fizzled out before they hit Nashville and the rain didn’t appear until after 11:00pm. Train could have performed their entire set and we all could have been long gone before the rain came. But as Pat said, it is better to be safe and listen to a little less music. I love Train’s music, but I really love their live show for the most part. Pat does seem to throw in some mild profanity from time to time and it seems I never agree with the opening song they choose, but the remainder of the show is so good it makes up for the weak parts. On the Concert Blast Scale, I give Train’s performance a 9.0, while Tom gave it a 9.2, and Brian gave it a 9.4. Of course I will be glad to see Train in concert again… and again… and again!
Written by Mike Arnold
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Tags: blog, Brian Hasbrook, California 37 tour, concert blast, concertblast, Jimmy Stafford, Mike Arnold, Nashville, Pat Monahan, podcast, Scott Underwood, The Woods at Fontanel, TN, Tom Thompson, TRAIN Concert reviews