jakub | August 15, 2023

Train Meets Virginia at Richmond Raceway’s Virginia Credit Union Live! in Richmond, Virginia on August 12, 2023


 

 

Train rolled into Richmond Raceway’s Virginia Credit Union Live! for their summer tour on a sweltering Saturday night August 12, 2023 along with opener Better Than Ezra. Every fan I talked to remarked that this was their 10th or 15th Train show so far. This multi-GRAMMY and Billboard Award-winning pop/rock band from San Francisco has always seemed fond of Virginia since their first hit “Meet Virginia” debuted on the band’s first self-titled album in 1998, so I knew the night would be special with all the diehard Train fans in the audience.

When preparing to photograph the show, I watched a recent video online where fans throw their phones to Pat Monahan, he catches them, takes a selfie, then casually tosses them back across the pit and into the audience during the third song. Not wanting to be hit in the head by cell phones, I mentioned this to venue staff, and thankfully, that song was moved to #4 on the setlist. After the first three songs, I was allowed to take a few photos from the soundboard and aisles, so I caught this in action. (See Train gallery below.)

But first up alternative rock veterans Better Than Ezra fired up the crowd easily. This band from New Orleans, Louisiana was formed in 1988 by the talented singer, musician and songwriter Kevin Griffin. “Ezralites” were definitely in attendance, shouting the lyrics as Kevin paused and pointed the mic at the crowd.

Partially through their performance, the frontman brought the show to a halt, urging the crowd to turn their attention behind them and soak in the gorgeous sunset. His words echoed the sentiment that sunsets are good for the soul. In my eight years of concert photography, I’ve never seen a lead singer do this, and it was much appreciated.

The band put on quite a show, blending both covers and their own classics like “Good,” “Desperately Wanting,” and “Juicy.” Adding to the excitement, they surprised fans with a fresh tune called “Live a Little” from their upcoming album. Being in the industry for 35 years, Kevin effortlessly engaged with the audience all night long, and dashed through the crowd during the finale song “Tiny Dancer (Elton John cover).”

 

Better Than Ezra Band Members:

Kevin Griffin (lead vocals, guitar)
Tom Drummond (bass)
James Arthur Payne Jr. (guitar, keys, vocals)
Michael Jerome (drums)

 

 

Better Than Ezra Setlist:

(1) Extra Ordinary / I Can’t Feel My Face / What I Got
(2) Misunderstood
(3) Rosealia
(4) Collide (Howie Day cover)
(5) Good
(6) Never Tear Us Apart (INXS cover)
(7) Mystified
(8) Desperately Wanting
(9) Juicy / Rapper’s Delight / O.P.P.
(10) Live a Little (Chaz Cardigan cover)
(11) Tiny Dancer (Elton John cover)

 

Right before Train hit the stage, the venue went pitch black. Musicians took their places, the lights went up, and frontman Pat Monahan took the stage to deafening cheers from the crowd. The first song was fan favorite “Drive By,” (thankfully pushing the “cell phone-throwing song” “If It’s Love,” to 4th on the setlist). “Meet Virginia,” the early hit by Train, naturally resonated well with this Virginia crowd. Pat threw “Meet Virginia” shirts into the crowd like an NFL quarterback, but had the band sign the one on his back, took it off, and tossed it to a lucky fan in the crowd. Her expression was priceless, which you can see in the gallery below.

During “If It’s Love,” fans (one at a time) tossed a cell phone to Monahan, he caught it, took a photo with them, then tossed it over the pit and back into the crowd. Some laid a phone on the stage somehow, he took a photo, then tossed it back. Finally the singer grabbed his own phone and took a video of the Virginia crowd cheering.

Kevin Griffin joined Pat Monahan for a rendition of “American Girl,” while later, massive beach balls made an appearance during the performance of “Save Me, San Francisco.” The hugely popular “Hey, Soul Sister” brought that unmistakable calypso vibe, and everyone rose to their feet. For the encore, the band served up an impressive version of The Eagles’ “Hotel California” with Taylor Locke’s guitar solo being an absolute masterpiece. The evening ended with “Drops of Jupiter,” and fans filed out reluctantly but content with Train’s hot summer night of hits.

 

Train Band Members:
Pat Monahan (lead vocals, trumpet, saxophone, vibraphone, percussion, drums)
Hector Maldonado (bass, guitar, vocals)
Jerry Becker (keys, guitar)
Matt Musty (drums)
Taylor Locke (guitar)
Nikita Houston (backing vocals)
Sakai Smith (backing vocals)

 

 

Train Setlist:
(1) Drive By
(2) AM Gold
(3) Meet Virginia / The Joker
(4) If It’s Love
(5) I Know
(6) Get to Me
(7) American Girl (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers cover)
(8) Respect
(9) Bruises
(10) Play That Song
(11) Save Me, San Francisco

(12) Lost and Found
(13) Angel in Blue Jeans
(14) Marry Me
(15) Calling All Angels / Faithfully
(16) 50 Ways to Say Goodbye
(17) Hey, Soul Sister / Come and Get Your Love / Hey Jude
(18) Hotel California (Eagles cover)
(19) Drops of Jupiter

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Train online:

FBIG Website TW YT

Follow Better Than Ezra online:

FBIG Website TW YT

 





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