AM Gold Tour
Darien Lake Amphitheater
Darien Center, NY
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto
It is not called the AM Gold tour for nothing. The name of Train’s first album in some five years served as the perfect title for Train’s summer shed tour. The tour also features Jewel and Blues Traveler as well as Parachute’s Will Anderson. Pat Monahan and Company pulled out all the stops Saturday evening as they took many of the fans back in time not only through their catalog but also through songs that were huge back in the day of AM radio.
The title track appropriately got the ball rolling as they mixed in many AM classics right beside the Train hits. The Train catalog highlights included the boisterous “If It’s Love”, “Save Me, San Francisco” and the top 10 smash “Drive By”.
There was an acoustic segment which Monahan started off solo with “It’s Everything” a song he said is about what he missed most about not able to tour and see the fans due to the pandemic. The acoustic segment ended with a pair of great cuts culled from My Private Nation in “When I Look To The Sky” followed by top-20 smash “Calling All Angels”.
The band followed that small set by kicking into high gear with “50 Ways To Say Goodbye” which had the crowd dancing and singing. The band ended strong by playing a pretty darn good cover of Aerosmith’s “Dream On” before ending with the song that really broke the band back in 2001 “Drops Of Jupiter”.
Both Jewel and Blues Traveler’s John Popper came out to perform with Train. Popper joined Monahan at the front of the stage for a take on Stephen Stills’ “Love The One You’re With”. Meanwhile Jewel joined the band for “Turn The Radio Up” the song which she also appears on Train’s AM Gold album. Jewel stayed out as her and Monahan traded vocals on a medley of Abba’s “Dancing Queen” with The Doobie Brothers “Listen to the Music” which served as the best cover song of the night.
Speaking of Jewel, she played a dazzling 45-minute set that really showcased what a great performer she is. I’ve seen her by herself performing but this is the first time I’ve seen her backed up by a regular band. Opening with “Standing Still”, the gem from 2001’s This Way was the catalyst that proved to be the key ingredient as the perfect choice to start her all-too brief set.
Jewel is also out touring in support of her latest album Freewheelin’ Woman. Released in March of this year it marks her first studio album since Picking Up The Pieces which came out in 2015. Her latest effort was represented with three tracks including “No More Tears”, “Long Way ’round” and “Alibis”. The album is very unlike her previous releases. It showcases her writing ability to touch on many different subjects. Produced by the ever busy Butch Walker (who isn’t this guy producing these days?), Freewheelin’ Woman was quite a work in progress. It appears that by taking her time she really came up with a very powerful yet unique album. It definitely is one of the best albums released to date this year.
It was simply amazing to hear how fresh and powerful Jewel’s voice sounded at the Darien Lake Amphitheater Saturday night. She saved her big hits for the end of the set including “You Were Meant for Me” and “Foolish Games” both which reached #2 on the Billboard charts from her debut Pieces of You.
Blues Traveler also played a short 45-minute set that featured their current line-up that has been the same since 2000. The group is singer and harmonica player John Popper, guitarist Chan Kinchla, drummer Brendan Hill, bassist Tad Kinchla, and keyboardist Ben Wilson.
The band mixed in a cover or two as well as their lone two top-40 songs “Run-Around” and “Hook” as well as a cover of Sublime’s “What I Got”.
Overall this has been one of the best Train shows I’ve seen to date. The concept of the whole AM Gold setting was unique and really gave the band the opportunity to do what it had intended to do bring the whole family including grandparents, parents and children together to enjoy a live performance. This show had a little something for everyone.
Meet Virginia / The Joker
If It’s Love
Get to Me
Running Back (Trying to Talk to You)
Play That Song
Bruises / Love the One You’re With (With John Popper)
Save Me, San Francisco
Turn the Radio Up (With Jewel)
Dancing Queen / Listen to the Music (With Jewel)
When I Look to the Sky
Calling All Angels
50 Ways to Say Goodbye
Hey, Soul Sister / Come and Get Your Love
Vacation (Dirty Heads Cover)
Drive By / Hey Jude
Dream On (Aerosmith Cover)
Drops of Jupiter
Long Way ’round
No More Tears
Love Me, Just Leave Me Alone
You Were Meant for Me (with her son Kase on drums)
Foolish Games (preceded by yodeling song)
Who Will Save Your Soul