Wednesday August 24, 2016
Summer seems to go by so fast in these parts. The sweltering heat of the past few weeks have made the days seem long but the nights just breeze right by. Wednesday evening at the Constellation Brands-Marvin Sands Performing Art Center, Train returned to the venue as they made their first visit back since their 2012 performance. Opening the bill, as he did in 2012, was Andy Grammer.
With Train you know you will get the usual plethora of hits and a cover or two thrown in for good measure. Singer Pat Monahan also mentioned this show being the closest the tour will make it to his hometown of Erie, PA some three hours away.
Along with Monahan was guitarist Jimmy Stafford making them the last two original members remaining. Joining them were guitarist Luis Maldonado, bassist Hector Maldonado, Jerry Becker who handled rhythm guitar and keys. Drummer Drew Shoals joined the band in 2014 and is the most recent addition to the band. The backing vocals were handled by Nikita Houston and Sakai Smith.
Kicking things off with a cover of Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” got the show started off on a positive note. The band then threw in a pair of their best with “50 Ways To Say Goodbye” and “If It’s Love”. After a start like that you would expect a let down at some point during the band’s ninety minute set but it never really came.
Monahan noted to the audience that the band was going to play songs of the past, present and future as well as songs from some of our heroes who we lost recently. With that the band delved all the way back to the beginning with a pair of cuts from their 1998 debut in “Meet Virginia” and “I Am”.
One of the best moments of the show came during “Under Pressure” which featured the Maldonado’s. Not only did they do the song justice but it made for a fitting tribute to David Bowie and Freddie Mercury.
The songs kept coming. “Calling All Angels”, “Save Me, San Francisco”, “Drive By” and final song of the evening “Drops Of Jupiter”, a song that epitomizes summer also included a snippet of Bowie’s “Space Oddity” was a marvelous way to end the night. Somewhere in there the band also did a spot-on version of The Eagles “Hotel California” signifying a tribute to Glenn Frey who we lost in January.
As mentioned Grammer opened the show and dazzled the crowd from opener “Keep Your Head Up” all the way until his last song “Good To Be Alive”. Grammer did not take his foot off the gas pedal as he delivered a solid one hour set that blended perfectly into the headliner’s set.
I couldn’t think of a better way to enjoy the last days of summer. Seeing these two artists made for a very enjoyable evening under the shell and stars at CMAC.
Train Set List
Let’s Go Crazy
50 Ways to Say Goodbye
If It’s Love
Get To Me
Angel in Blue Jeans
She’s on Fire
Calling All Angels
Save Me, San Francisco
Play That Song
Hey, Soul Sister
Drops of Jupiter / Space Oddity
Andy Grammer Set List
Keep Your Head Up
Fine By Me
Kiss You Slow
Blame It On The Stars
Don’t Let Me Down
Honey I’m Good
Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah)
Special thanks to Lynn Freida for all her help