How many bands are able to release multi-platinum albums, offer wine and chocolate to its fans to support housing for seriously ill children, and produce a music video featuring the Hoff? One and that band’s name is Train. This is a band that is back on the scene with a new album, California 37 and is on tour just about every night from July 10 to September 30, 2012. This means the masses will once again have Train tickets to watch as Pat Monahan says “hey, soul sister” while meeting Virginia and shedding drops of Jupiter, as well as enjoy a drive by and discover 50 ways to say goodbye. Had enough wordplay? Well, let’s get back to discussing one of the most popular bands of the last decade and a half.
Train is an intriguing study in modern music. The group’s last album only went gold, but it more than made up possible lost revenue with an internationally beloved single “Hey, Soul Sister” and domestic hit “Marry Me”. Save Me, San Francisco, the album from which both these singles came, can hardly be considered a failure with such multiplatinum and platinum successes. Fans may lament the fact that Train is consistently making big impressions with single servings of songs, possibly coming to the conclusion that the group’s legacy will be tarnished.
However, despite recent interviews in which Monahan talks about the shift from trying to write a hit song to trying to write great material for an album, they have succeeded because of those charting songs. This is the 21st century and people no longer buy albums, but tracks for their individual soundtracks. Train may not think it, but the popularity of the first two singles from the new album, “Drive By” and “50 Ways to Say Goodbye” are going to keep this group busy as a first tier act for years to come. The album and the tour in the name of the album, the California 37 Tour, only needs such a long list of newly released songs to justify a series of concerts to be played and given their due by a media out of touch with contemporary music trends.
For, every fan is going to be arriving at these shows to listen to the hits performed live by Monahan, Jimmy Stafford, and Scott Underwood. These are three guys with a sense of humor and charisma and the songs those fans with Train tickets are arriving to hear are the hits, the songs that made the most lasting impact. A new hit may emerge as the record company release more singles in an attempt to match the success of the songs or as the band decides to have a little more fun with new material on YouTube, but then the fans will be there to so that song performed as well. The future is bright for Train because of their ability to connect in these small doses and there is no sign the band is going to stop anytime soon.