Train returned home to Northern California for two shows last weekend. I photographed both concerts. The first concert was north of Sacramento in Wheatland, California at the Sleep Train Amphitheatre. The second concert was at the America’s Cup Pavilion, a temporary facility at Piers 29-31 along San Francisco’s Embarcadero. Irish band The Script performed before Train. Gavin DeGraw opened. Ashley Monroe played with Train during their set at both shows. Even though all the artists played nearly the same set lists, the concerts were different. In Sacramento, it was hot. In San Francisco, it was a typical cold foggy summer night. Still, both shows were excellent.
Train reminds me of author James Joyce. Coincidentally, Joyce and The Script are from Dublin, which might explain my recent preoccupation with Joyce. Joyce was known for playing with words and creating multiple meanings. Train songs are playful and funny in a similar way. Even when Train signs about love, I consider their songs lighthearted… until I have heard each song a few times. Train songs are packed with meaning.
Train’s popularity resembles their lyrics. They are a paradox. Train is probably the least popular famous Rock Band on the planet. I find it part of their charm. The Script has more Facebook Fans than Train. (The Script may have outperformed Train in San Francisco too. Train seemed overwhelmed by the homecoming.) While every act came out into the stands, The Script captured the fans attention the best. Here is the rest of the Script San Francisco photo gallery.
Train fans love the band, but Train is not for everyone. The third song of their set, “If it’s Love,” explains the relationship Train has with its fans. The refrain: “If it’s love, then the rest is just whatever.” The details don’t matter. It does not matter if it is foggy or sunny. It does not matter if Train was overwhelmed by emotion. You will love the show.
Of course, this cuts both ways. If you do not love Train, The rest is just whatever. Do not go, unless you love to dance.
Note: edited August 16th