Train Rolls Through the MAC Facility

entertainment_trainThe widely loved pop band known as Train performed at the MAC on August 30 as part of their California 37 tour. Fans from all over New Jersey swarmed campus to get a glimpse of the famed musicians, whose performance was set to follow Mat Kearney and his band. The two artists have toured together previously.

Mathew Kearney, who was born in Oregon but now lives in Tennessee, has had songs featured on numerous “Top Selling” charts.

Train, which is stationed in San Francisco, consists of Pat Monahan (vocals), Jimmy Stafford (guitar) and Scott Underwood (drums). The band released their first album in 1998 and has since released seven albums, with their latest, California 37, coming out after a three year hiatus.

Some were there just for the experience of a live musical performance, while others were life-long Train fans. “We’ve seen them over twenty times - and I saw them twice on my birthday one year,” said Leslie Brown-Correll, a local Train fan. She then added, “They haven’t done a bad show yet.”

Audience members were allowed in at 6:30 pm, and by that time the line had stretched down the sidewalk and around the corner of the facility.

Throughout the next hour, eager viewers steadily filed in, filling the hundreds of chairs as well as the stadium seating. Over 3,000 people came to the show.

The show started at 7:30 pm with Kearney and his musical accompaniment. Kearney has been performing since the early 2000’s, having released his first album in 2004. He blends light guitar and various instrumental elements with spoken word, rap and pop components. The lights flashed to the rhythm of his melody, making it feel like the MAC had become the setting of a music video.

Kearney played a number of his more popular songs, including “She Got the Honey” and “Count On Me.” The crowd went wild during “Runaway” as he leapt off the stage and went walking through the audience, circling most of the lower level.

After an hour of spectacular performance, Kearney left the stage and a brief intermission followed. A curtain was put over the stage so the staff could prepare. The room hummed with an electrified tension as everyone waited for Train to appear.

It wasn’t long before the MAC was rocked by exhilarated cheers. Signaled by the cry of a train whistle and the thunder of wheels racing along a steel track, the room darkened just in time for the curtain to drop (it was promptly whisked away by a group of stage hands).

Train took off at full steam with a performance of their hit single, “50 Ways to Say Goodbye.” Colored lights and an electronic graphics display added to the already impressive sight of the powerhouse group.

However, it wasn’t the music that made this concert memorable; the best part of the night was Pat Monahan’s overwhelming charisma. He wasn’t shy about getting close to the audience. Soon into their performance, he crouched down by the edges of the stage so eager fans could hand over their cameras and phones. He then took pictures of himself with the owner.

That wasn’t the only antic that Monahan would be involved with. He later threw shirts into the crowd, including the shirt he had been wearing. Inflatable beach balls were thrown from the stage as well, which he later autographed.

He did stop for a moment, though, when two lucky people got engaged in the middle of their hit single “Marry Me.” He smiled and commented about how awesome he thought it was.

He also commented that “all the best things happen in New Jersey.”

The mid-concert proposal wasn’t the only poignant moment. Near the end of the show, an acoustic guitar autographed by the entire band was given to an audience member that Pat Monahan felt inspired the band throughout the performance. The recipient was a young boy who had demonstrated particular enthusiasm, catching Monahan’s eye by dancing and cheering during the entire show.

In addition to the songs already mentioned, Train performed numerous other hits, such as “Drive By,” “California 37,” and “Hey, Soul Sister.” They also played a few songs for fans that had supported them since the beginning of their career, such as “Drops of Jupiter” and “Meet Virginia.” “This is my third time seeing them,” says Jenna Horner, 17. “[Monmouth University] is a really nice venue as well. And it has great security,” Horner added.

Needless to say, there are no good ways to say goodbye to Train, but their concert was an experience fans will always remember.