(Royal Oak Music Theatre, MI – October 27th, 2007)
Over the course of four studio albums, Train has become nothing if not predictable. Complete with jangly guitars, mid-tempo beats, and occasionally goofy lyrics, it admittedly always left you with a pleasant overall experience. But lead singer Pat Monahan has always been seen as more than just the front to such an outfit. And so with that in mind, and bringing forth his very first solo album to boot, the always-smiling 'Last of Seven' musician took to the singular Michigan spotlight last night.
The Gospel-influenced 'Ripple In The Water' is first up. A powerful piece of music, it literally shakes the cobwebs off the audience and he alike and prepares you for the following 90 minutes of music. “Raise Your Hands” is next and features both the aforementioned gospel vibe, a synthesizer, and some programmed beats that thankfully are well restrained. Lit in blue, 'Great Escape' is next quickly followed by the Train hit 'Meet Virginia.' Mysteriously featuring an all-out rock guitar solo from Luis Maldonado - complete with a playing-it-behind-the-head stint - the now bathed in red track has been wrung dry before the bouncy 'Someday' is sung.
'Two Ways To Say Goodbye' is next up and as he's asked to get the Led out by some front row patrons, he jokes that he should actually record a cover album sometime soon. 'She's On Fire' from the Drops Of Jupiter album is next, inclusive of a human beat box midway break, but it's the album track 'All American Girl' that really kick-starts the show again.
The Argent cover 'Hold Your Head High' leads into a story told by Pat of an ex-girlfriend named Peggy that lives here in Royal Oak, before one of the most amazing things I have ever seen performed live is undertaken: Pat sings acoustic, sans mic and backing, the track 'Midnight' to an absolutely gob smacked audience! Following that with a smoking rendition of Stevie Wonder's 'Superstition.' the man is on fire at this point and continues onwards with his falsetto version of Aerosmith's 'Walk This Way.'
Set filler 'Girlfriend' is next, before a beautiful duet with his female backing singer Sakai on 'Pirate On The Run' brings everyone to the same conclusion: clap rapidly! Another set filler in 'Thinkin Bout You' is next, before the well-received 'Drops Of Jupiter' is sung to a very happy crowd. The new album's lead single “Her Eyes” carries us nicely into the first encore track 'When You Are Near,' before Zeppelin's pounding 'Whole Lotta Love' is played out. Complete with Maldonado's searing guitar riffs, and even Monahan center stage on toms, the set eventually closes with the rapturous 'Oh My My.'
Photo By: Nicole Huss