Pat Monahan and Train are popular, but in the Bay Area they’re the Rolling Stones. On a breezy California night at the Sleep Train Amphitheater in Concord the band put on a head lining performance in front of a packed house of adoring hometown fans. Maroon 5 took the opening slot and once Adam Levine and the other four had cleared the stage, Train’s party got started.
Matt Nathanson emerged before the sun went down and got the crowd warmed up. His personality outshone his music at times, but he did what he was there to do. Nathanson is a solid opening act. Nothing more. “Come On Get Higher,” was met with applause as was “Faster.” The San Francisco resident cleared the stage for the glitz and larger-than-life personalities that had yet to take the stage. His set lasted a mere 30 minutes but made an impression.
Adam Levine dances, and poses and has a little Mick Jagger in his moves. The front man did not disappoint as Maroon 5 ran through hit after hit. Over the screams of the mostly female audience, Levine hit those high notes with ease. “Harder To Breathe,” was saved for the encore and showed off the rock side of the five. “Moves Like Jagger,” was met with thunderous cheers and showcased the clubbing side of the group. Who would have thought that Maroon 5 would be in constant rotation on hip hop radio. “Jagger,” has given this group a much bigger audience. Not that they needed it.
Pat Monahan has been making San Francisco references in Train’s songs for years. The group loves their hometown and the feelings are mutual. Within the first two songs of his set Monahan had left the stage and was busy posing for photos with fans in the front row, the fifth row and eventually the nose bleeds.
As Pat Stafford wailed on lead guitar and Monahan made sure to flirt with the women in the front row the show took a distinctly San Francisco turn. The large video screens began to flash images of the beloved city by the bay and “Save Me, San Francisco,” began. The song gets a fair amount of spins on the radio waves and is a hit. But, because this was the hometown stop on the country wide tour, the performance meant a little more than usual for the group. Monahan said as much as the song wrapped up and got yet another ovation from the thousands of audience members.
All the hometown love aside, Train put on a memorable show. There’s a reason this band has been touring steadily for years. They’re good. Monahan had almost as many wardrobe changes as Britney Spears did and was extremely entertaining working the crowd like only a true entertainer can. The band was solid, the crowd was having a good time, and as Monahan put it: the air smelled like the Fillmore. Which in other words meant: the joints were lit.
Of course all the Train classics were performed, including “Meet Virginia,” and “Drops of Jupiter.” Pat Monahan has been around the world but at the end of this show it looked as though he really didn’t want to leave the stage. It was a genuine performance from a band who have been rock stars in San Francisco long before they were stars anywhere else.