Out on the road touring on their latest release, Train’s AM Gold Tour – supported by ’90s radio mainstays Jewel and Blues Traveler – rolled through the Lakewood Amphitheater on a drizzly Tuesday night in Atlanta, Georgia.
Located just a few miles south of downtown Atlanta, this amphitheater was built back in 1989 and has a posted capacity of nearly 19,000 (7,000 seated, 12,000 on the lawn). However, likely due to the potential of poor weather conditions and the fact that the Backstreet Boys were playing a sold-out show at a Live Nation sister amphitheater less than 30 miles away in northern Atlanta, overall turnout Tuesday night was visibly lighter than I would have expected.
Starting the night off early at 6:30pm with just his acoustic guitar in hand was singer and songwriter Will Anderson. For those that don’t immediately recognize Anderson, he is actually a rather accomplished musician, having released five albums as part of the pop-rock band Parachute from Charlottesville, Virginia, between the years of 2006-2019. That might also explain why he was wearing a Virginia state logoed baseball cap, albeit I had also considered it was a potential homage to Train’s hit, “Meet Virginia.” As Anderson put it, he was there to “warm up the audience” and he invited the early crowd to come visit him at the merchandise booth following his short set. Check out the funny vlog he posted (below) to learn more about him.
Following a quick 10-minute break, Blues Traveler took the stage to a modest crowd around 7:00pm and kicked off their set with the tune “Carolina Blues” from their 1997 album, Straight On till Morning. Anchored by the distinctive vocals and harmonica-driven playing of lead singer John Popper, the band played an enjoyable and energetic set that also included three of their Top 40 singles in “Run-Around,” “But Anyway,” and “Hook.” Additionally, Blues Traveler squeezed in a cover of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” which was a clear crowd-pleaser given that show was in Atlanta. Blues Traveler is out on tour supporting their July 2021 release, Traveler’s Blues, which was recently nominated by The Recording Academy for Best Traditional Blues album at the 2022 GRAMMY Awards.
Next to take the stage was four-time Grammy Award nominated singer-songwriter Jewel. Arguably one of the most accomplished musicians to come out of the 1990s, Jewel launched into her night with the popular and recognizable tune “Standing Still” from her fourth studio album, This Way. Jewel’s thirteenth studio album, Freewheelin’ Woman, was just released back in April, and she performed three new tracks, including “Long Way ’round,” “No More Tears,” and “Alibis.” You can check those tunes out in the full concert video posted below from her West Palm Beach, Florida, performance last week. She finished the evening with a resounding performance of her hit 1996 single “Who Will Save Your Soul” from her debut album, Pieces of You. Jewel had an enchanting stage presence throughout her entire set, elevated only by her alluringly sweet vocals.
1.) Standing Still
3.) Long Way ’round
4.) No More Tears
5.) Love Me, Just Leave Me Alone
8.) You Were Meant for Me
9.) Yodel Song
10.) Foolish Games
11.) Who Will Save Your Soul
Following the completed clearance of the other band backline instruments, Train’s extra-large stage setting finally solidified into view, complete with a huge screen, vast lighting system, and colorful stair risers that reminded me of the TV show “Deal or No Deal.” The band, with energetic singer Pat Monahan emerging after they each took their stage positions, kicked off their headlining slot with the title song, “AM Gold,” off their latest release.
The 19-song setlist (posted below) was replete with Train tunes where you said to yourself “Hey, I know this song” more times than not, but perhaps more importantly it is worth describing how much fun Monahan was having with the audience throughout the night. He threw a dozen “Meet Virginia” t-shirts into the crowd, even having his bandmates sign one while he was wearing it. There were streamer canons, dozens of balloons tossed into the crowd during “Save Me, San Francisco,” and even crazy fans throwing their cell phones onto the stage so Monahan could take selfies with them (see photos below).
There were also surprise appearances mid-set by Popper during the song “Bruises,” and Jewel joined Train onstage to perform “Turn the Radio Up.” That was also immediately followed up by her singing along with Monahan for a crowd-dancing ABBA cover of “Dancing Queen.” Upon Jewel’s departure, Train continued to power through some of my favorite hits, including “Calling All Angels” and “Hey, Soul Sister.” Following an awfully strong cover performance of “Dream On” by Aerosmith, Monahan and team put an exclamation point on the night with an inspired performance of “Drops of Jupiter,” which amazingly is celebrating its 20th anniversary (video from a prior show below).
Jerry Becker – keyboards, rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Nikita Houston – backing vocals
Taylor Locke – lead guitar, backing vocals
Hector Maldonado – bass, backing vocals
Pat Monahan – lead vocals, percussion
Matt Musty – drums, percussion
Sakai Smith – backing vocals
1.) AM Gold
2.) Meet Virginia / The Joker (Steve Miller band cover)
3.) If It’s Love
4.) Get To Me
5.) Running Back (Trying to Talk to You)
6.) Play That Song
7.) Bruises (with John Popper) / Love the One You’re With
8.) Save Me, San Francisco
9.) Turn the Radio Up (with Jewel)
10.) Dancing Queen / Listen to the Music (ABBA cover with Jewel)
11.) It’s Everything
12.) Marry Me
13.) When I Look to the Sky
14.) Calling All Angels
15.) 50 Ways to Say Goodbye
16.) Hey, Soul Sister / Vacation
17.) Drive By
18.) Dream On (Aerosmith cover)
19.) Drops of Jupiter
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Elliott is a music photographer covering shows in Atlanta, Georgia, and the surrounding area. The highlight of his photography career was back in the early ’90s, when he sold Neil Diamond the rights to his negatives from a show and then purchased a set of tires for his 1979 280ZX during college with the money.