Train Chug Full Speed Ahead At OLG Stage

Concert Review
OLG Stage @ Fallsview
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Tuesday August 22, 2023
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto

Train, the multi-platinum, Grammy award winning band from San Francisco, graced the fabulous OLG Stage Tuesday night. The band’s current tour, dubbed the “Definitely Not A Tour” tour in reality is an extension of last year’s AM Gold tour as the band is still pushing the 2022 release. Tuesday’s performance marked their first inside the 5,000 seat OLG Stage although they have played the smaller 1,500 seat Avalon Theatre before.

The band started with the title track from it’s latest studio album AM Gold which came out last year. It was after that the band dug into the archives for “Meet Virginia”, the first track from its very first album. The song was augmented by slipping in Steve Miller’s “The Joker”. This would be something that would become the normal on this evening. While Train has many hits and great quality songs of their own it was nice to see them pay homage to band like The Eagles, Journey and The Beatles. By the way Monahan’s son did a few songs and boy that kid can sing. Like Father, like Son.

The current line-up does a masterful job of replicating these songs. There are not too many bands who can pull off sounding so good on “Hotel California”. These days the band includes Hector Maldonado on the bass, who incidentally has been aboard since 2009. Keyboardist Jerry Becker who has been around since 2008. The more recent additions to the band are Taylor Locke on guitar and Matt Musty on the drums. Backup vocalists Sakai Smith and Nikita Houston help keep the show gliding along. Make no mistake about vocalist Pat Monahan as he has been there from the beginning and is the last remaining original member. On this night it was clear to anyone seeing the show how talented a vocalist he is. He still sounded as smooth as velvet on such gems as “Marry Me” and “Play That Song”. By the time “Drops of Jupiter” ended the show it was the perfect ending to the perfect Train show. Clearly this show ranks at the top of my Train list as well as any show I’ve seen at OLG Stage up to this point.

While things are vastly different now with not only the music charts but also the way the music business is these days, Train still stand out as a band to be reckoned with. While it appears their days of receiving platinum records may be over (none since 2012’s California 37), they still put out solid albums that grab your attention. While I like the covers they do I would still like them to dig deeper into their own catalog for such gems like “I’m Drinkin’ Tonight”, “Cadillac, Cadillac” and “This’ll Be My Year”. One thing is certain as a songwriter Monahan will not rest on his laurels so we should be guaranteed another follow-up album to AM Gold in the near future.

Opening the show was the band Parmalee. The band consists of vocalist Matt Thomas, his brother drummer Scott Thomas, their cousin Barry Knox on bass and Josh McSwain on guitar. The band has done very well on the country charts with recent hits “Just the Way” and “Take My Name”. Definitely check them out live as they delivered a solid opening set.

Train Photo Gallery

Set List

AM Gold
Meet Virginia / The Joker
If It’s Love
I Know
American Girl
Ramble On
Save The Day
Angel in Blue Jeans
Calling All Angels / Faithfully
50 Ways to Say Goodbye
Marry Me
Play That Song
Hey, Soul Sister / Come and Get Your Love
Drive By / Hey Jude
Hotel California (Eagles Cover)
Drops of Jupiter

Parmalee Gallery

About Joseph Suto

Location: Buffalo, NY Photographer/Reviewer
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