Last night had to have been one of the best nights of my life – hands down. Now that seems like a strong statement when talking about anything in life, and many ask you what your reasoning is when giving a moment or experience a label such as this. For me it was quite simple; I was accompanied by my father, my significant other, and a close friend all while listening to a few bands we really enjoy. After soaking in the sun for a patio dinner the three of us walked the few blocks to the Xcel Energy Center to meet our friend, grab a few drinks, and head inside.
Unfortunately, said sun soaked patio caused me to miss the opening band, but Train began their night around 7:40 p.m. opening with their hit ’50 Ways to Say Goodbye’. Never having seen Train perform before, I knew automatically that this would be an energy filled show with a promise that it would be enjoyed by everyone attending. Patrick Monahan knew how to keep the crowd entertained and hold their attention which I’m sure he’s learned to master over years of performing. After the completion of ‘If It’s Love’ Monahan mimicked an attendee’s dance moves saying, “We’ve got some pretty sexy dance moves going on up in here”, making the crowd go wild with laughter and cheers. Once everyone calmed down a little bit Monahan played ‘Get to Me’, and at the end of this song he stated him, and his band members were, “So much better than Green Day”, once again making the crowd go wild – meaning everyone agreed in one way or another. A cover of Led Zeppelin’s, ‘Heartbreaker’, came over the speakers from Train’s album, ‘Train Does Led Zeppelin II’ including an incredible guitar solo by lead guitarist Luis Maldonado. Monahan chose to wow the crowd with other hits such as ‘Meet Virginia’, ‘Save Me, San Francisco’, and ‘When I Look to the Sky’ before going into a selection of some of their newer releases. Throughout this grouping Minnesota was pegged to have had the most beautiful people (which everyone enjoyed hearing), and attendees on the floor had the opportunity to hit around a beach ball if one came their way. For the last part of Train’s set songs such as ‘Marry Me’, ‘Soul Sister’, and ‘Play That Song’ were included as well as ending the night with a fan favorite, ‘Drops of Jupiter’. In all honesty, I didn’t realize how many songs by Train I knew until the concert began. I know almost all of their older albums, but I tend to forget about their newer releases. Overall, Train killed it, and I would most definitely see them again if given another opportunity. Their performance was powerful, energetic, and exciting which kept the crowd constantly on their toes not knowing what to expect next. Monahan is an incredibly talented individual with a vast vocal range that at times left me speechless.
As Train’s equipment was switched out with Hall and Oates’ attendees were encouraged to watch episodes of Daryl’s House with appearances from The O’Jays and Elle King. I felt this was a wonderful way to prepare the audience for what was to come as well as to get everyone excited. It was soon to be announced by Daryl Hall himself later in the evening that more episodes of Daryl’s House would be appearing this Fall – I know my dad was excited to hear that as it is one of his favorite shows to watch.
The changeover was quick, and Hall and Oates came on stage around 8:40 p.m. opening with ‘Maneater’. The anticipation was high, and the stage was filled with eight talent-packed artists ready to take the night away. After their opening, ‘Out of Touch’ came over the speakers, followed by ‘Say It Ain’t So’ which included an amazing saxophone solo by the one and only, Charles “Mr. Casual” DeChant. When I looked around me all I could see was a room full of individuals enjoying the music whether that was by dancing, singing along, or smiling. Daryl Hall and John Oates played other hits towards the beginning of their set such as ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’, ‘She’s Gone’, and ‘Sara Smile’, all of which slowly checked off the list I had made in my head of songs I hoped to hear last night. Next, they played ‘Is It A Star?’ which caused the crowd to “ooo” and “ahh” as the backdrop was turned into what resembled a dreamy night sky. Before bringing Paul Monahan back onto the stage for a mid-set collaboration, they couldn’t leave out ‘I Can’t Go for That’ which of course was yet another crowd pleaser. Once Monahan was back on stage, and situated he accompanied Daryl Hall in singing ‘Philly Forget Me Not’, and ‘Wait for Me’ creating a memorable sense of comradery between two very talented artists. At the beginning of the night I was curious as to how these two artists got paired for a tour, and it turns out they met on Daryl Hall’s show, Daryl’s House, when Train had previously made an appearance and since then they have been relatively close. Before exiting stage, Paul Monahan made sure to sing ‘Calling All Angels’, which was a treat as I didn’t think I would get to hear it. Shortly after Monahan exited the stage, and the remaining bandmembers including Daryl Hall and John Oates exited as well leaving attendees wanting more (of course). After ample cheering, and pleas for one more song all band members came back on stage to wow the crowd with a selection I’m sure a substantial amount of the crowd was waiting to hear such as ‘Your Kiss Is on My List’, ‘Private Eyes’, ‘Rich Girl’, and ‘You Make My Dreams Come True’. In my opinion, this was a spectacular end to the evening as they chose to group a selection of their top hits for their encore. There were a few songs that I still wish I could have heard, but overall it was one heck of a setlist and I certainly wasn’t unimpressed upon leaving the concert.
The amount of talent in the arena last night was mind blowing to say the least, and I feel so thankful for being able to see a performance such as this. I really enjoyed seeing all the musicians present collaborate in the way they did, and it was also amazing how so many different instruments as well as singers could be present on stage at once with zero issues. Each one of them have mastered their particular instrument or their particular vocals to an incredible level over the years, and a wonderful show such as this is created when that much talent is present. I was left speechless, and I’m still considerably speechless after Wednesday’s performance. I already appreciated both bands to a high extent pegging each of them as one of my favorites, and after last night my appreciation was heightened to a new level. All in all, yet another bucket list item checked.
Thanks for a wonderful evening ladies and gents. And to many more.