Struck by Train: I've been wrong about the band for most of my life, and a KeyArena show proved it

click to enlarge Patrick Monahan belting out some tunes at V Festival in 2014. - DREW DE F FAWKES
Drew de F Fawkes
Patrick Monahan belting out some tunes at V Festival in 2014.

Trains. They evoke a sense of adventure, romance, loneliness and countless blues album covers.

But Train, singular? Does it inspire early 2000s nostalgia? Does it inspire has-been pop-rock? Cringey lyrics? All of the above?

So far, I spent almost all of the 21st century hating on Train, the band. They are so corny. So vanilla. So, not rock ’n’ roll. But after watching them play live, I am starting to re-evaluate lot of things in my life.

Train might be good.

I had successfully not seen their show at Northern Quest Casino Friday night, and when my sister invited me to see Hall & Oates at the KeyArena on Saturday, I didn’t even know they were the opening act.

But there I was, watching them live. And I was impressed.

The band did a cover of Led Zeppelin's “Black Dog” that was nearly perfect, with Patrick Monahan replicating a Robert Plant like no one I have ever heard. 
click to enlarge A text my sister sent on Monday morning. - QUINN WELSCH SCREENSHOT
Quinn Welsch screenshot
A text my sister sent on Monday morning.

The band launched into song after song, a couple of which I have always loved without knowing they were even original Train songs (“Soul Sister” and “Meet Virginia”).

I was already won over at that point, but Monahan took it a step further, hijacking a camera from one of the stage crew and aiming it at the audience, whose faces then appeared on the screen behind him. He congratulated Washington for being so beautiful and talked about how much he loved living in the state himself. As a recently repatriated Washingtonian, I can get behind that.

There were other highlights, too, including a duet Monahan performed with Daryl Hall on piano (“Wait for Me”).

And then there was “Drops of Jupiter.”

I know. I know. That song is sooooo sappy. But that’s arguably Train’s biggest hit and, love it or hate it, it’s going to close the show.

So there you have it. Am I going to go profess my love for Train to friends and family? Will I buy their music on iTunes? Will I follow them on social media? Probably not. But I will always remember an awesome show.

And if they are in Spokane again, I might even buy tickets.

Diamond Square Dance Lessons @ Western Dance Center

Mon., Sept. 20, 7-9 p.m.
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About The Author

Quinn Welsch

Quinn Welsch is the copy editor of the Inlander.