Train Takes The Hits But Keeps On Coming, Especially Among SF Giants Fans
There was some bit of consternation and gnashing of teeth this past November when the band Train played at the San Francisco Giants victory parade. The problem arose when Metallica, which is populated almost exclusively with Giants fans, got its own float in the parade, which commemorated the team's third World Series title in five seasons.
But what happened when the parade ended at San Francisco's Union Square, and it was time for the speeches? Train took the platform, and after the festivities, played for the masses. (One Twitter user guessed that it was the Giants' version of "crowd control").
Wait, Metallica is backstage at the Giants' celebration, and we get Train? Eww, it's like diet Halloween candy.
— W. Blake Gray (@wblakegray) October 31, 2014
Yep, Train is the band you love to hate -- a Nickelback for a new generation. A bit too pop-musicy, a tad off-key, a lot lyrics-challenged, there are many reason some folks don't like lead singer Pat Monahan & Co.
But here was the Giants' reasoning that day:
* Train is a San Francisco band. They began there. Metallica was formed in Los Angeles.
* One of Train's biggest hits is "Save Me San Francisco," which has become somewhat of an anthem for the Giants. I suppose Metallica could play "Better Than You", but that's a little aggressive.
* Train is a jaunty, up-beat operation, accessible to fans of all ages. Like a baseball crowd.
* People who like them tend too really like them.
There's no doubt that Metallica is a much better band. A lot of Train's music, excuse me, sucks. But I didn't realize Train's universal appeal until I attended their concert at Harveys Outdoor Arena in Lake Tahoe, NV, on Tuesday.
Giants fans infested the place. Lake Tahoe is 225 miles from San Francisco, and a lot of folks made the trip, or were in Tahoe anyway and happened to be fans. And there were so many kids. It's just the family-friendly atmosphere that an MLB aspires to cultivate.
Train plays at a lot of stadiums, for many teams in many sports. One of their other hits, "Calling All Angels", has become a staple at Los Angeles Angeles games. But San Francisco considers the band theirs, and if all other things go south for Train, it seems they will always have a home there.
Photos: Kurt E. Johnson, Tahoe Onstage.
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