Mark Salmon 20/10/2010
Train the multi Grammy award winning band hit Birmingham's O2 Academy 20/10/10, for the first time in a long while, armed with a arsenal of songs to get everyone going.
As loud chugging train noise's blast from every speaker, the band make their way on stage to a huge cheering audience and break into 'Parachute', as the vocals kick in, on runs the youthful looking Pat Monahan. The crowd is in full swing getting involved with every song much to the pleasure of Monahan who jokingly thanked the audience for not joining in on the high notes. This is only the beginning of the interaction between Monahan and the crowd, so much so that it could be mistaken that they're playing to a bunch of their friends. Monahan ever the heart throb was constantly answering a barrage of "I love yous" and at one point proclaiming to an over enthusiastic crowd member "Trust me you don't want my babies!"
The band smash through every song with not a beat or a note out of place, Monahan's voice was on top form and shows why the band have earned their Grammies and numerous singles hitting the Billboard top 100.During one song the band gain some new members on stage in the form of eight hand picked, willing, ladies from the crowd, dubbed the 'Trainettes'. These lucky few who join the band on stage get a chance to demo their dancing and singing skills, much to the amusement of Monahan, who even goes as far to demonstrate one of the girls 'bumping and grinding' techniques.
Monahan apologized for the bands past mistakes including not coming to the UK nearly as much as they should've, it's obvious that the reception they're receiving has shocked them into realization at how much people love them here in the UK, So much so that were treated to an acapella (and microphone
less) version of 'If it's Love', I think. Either way the crowd offer a momentary silence as Monahan stand lonesome on stage belting his way through the song, only for the rest of the band to join him for the ending.
The set is pretty much over run by tracks from Trains most recent release 2009's 'Save me, San Francisco' which is no surprise as this tour is to promote the album, No fewer than six track from this album feature during the night with the remainder coming from their previous releases, with the
exception of 'For me, it's you'. One other note worthy appearance of the evening was the addition of Rhianna's - Umbrella. This song wasn't included in the the set list, but the stage was littered with the lyrics printed out, whether they actually played this or not remains unknown, as I had to leave early to catch my train - oh the irony! But this just goes a little way to show that these guys
are doing what they love every night and are enjoying doing it.
Their music may have mellowed in recent years but the same can't be said for there on stage performances, with each member getting involved as it were their first gig, a true performance from start to finish. Catch Train before they