Train brings their American rock star power to Manchester

Francesca Eagleton | 23rd October 2017

One signed t-shirt, some American pop-rock soul and even a proposal was what the packed out crowd of Manchester were treated to on Thursday night, as San Francisco band, Train, brought their ‘Play That Song Tour’ to the O2 Apollo.

In support of their 10th studio album, A Girl, a Bottle, a Boat, the Patrick Monahan-fronted band performed to an eagerly awaited crowd, who sang along to a set list filled with uplifting hits.

The multi award-winning band first found success in the UK with their second album, Drops of Jupiter, which was a top-10 hit in both the album and the singles charts.

This was just a starting point for the band who went on to win their first Grammy award in 2011 for their single, Hey Soul Sister – which was clearly still a big hit 6 years later amongst the Manchester crowd on Thursday.

As the crowd filled the theatre, it was apparent that the audience consisted of a wide range of ages. Of that being from people in their early twenties to late forties and over – not your typical boy band audience of screaming young teenagers.

At precisely 9:00pm the sound of a dimming train filled the theatre, before Train themselves entered the stage and opened the show with ‘Drink Up’ – the second single from their new album.

The set list for the night was a journey of the bands success, including hits from their early days in the noughties to their most recent album. It was clear that their hard core fans are very much still standing strong by the band, as they sang along to every song.

However, one song in particular made the theatre fall silent, as Monahan stepped away from the microphone and performed a haunting A Cappella rendition of “Always Midnight”. Even without the microphone, his vocals projected to the back of the room, had the audience clinging onto his every word and was rightfully followed by a deafening applause.

The proposal of a young couple, Connor and Kelly was another talking point of the night. As Monahan began to sing their 2010 hit Marry Me, Connor got down on one knee and said those very words, prompting a cheer from the crowd as Kelly said YES!

Speaking to the newly engaged couple after the concert Connor said, “I’ve been fans of Train since the beginning, I was actually the one who first got Kelly into them, they were the first proper gig I ever went to.

“I’ve been planning to propose for the last 4 or 5 months, I just wanted it to be the perfect moment and everything that I hoped it would be – and it was.”

Following the surprise proposal, Monahan had the audience back in the palm of his hand with a special medley. Delighting the younger members in the room as he combined their 2012 hit, ‘Mermaid’ with ‘Lost and Found’, and snippets of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You,’ Sia’s ‘Cheap Thrills’ and even Shawn Mendes’ ‘Treat You Better’.

Ending the night was of course Trains most recent hit, ‘Play That Song’. After teasing the crowds with snippets of the track throughout the night.

However, the audience clearly weren’t finished for the night, cheering and chanting until Train returned back to the stage for an encore of well-loved hits. This time including a cover of Queens ‘Under Pressure, to which Monahan joked to the audience, ‘I wish we wrote this one’.

Throughout the night, not only did Monahan showcase his own impressive vocal ranges, but he let his bassist Hector Maldonado and guitarist Luis Maldonado rightfully have their own moment in the spotlight. If you left before the encore, well, you certainly missed out.

For years now, Train have long lived their success and moments in the spotlight, with hit after hit gracing our charts – and long may they continue to Play That Song.