Mere hours before their ninth studio album AM Gold dropped, Train spent the night performing for their fans at the intimate iHeartRadio Album Release Party presented by Capital One. The night was hosted by iHeartRadio's Jill Escoto from Valentine In The Morning at the iHeartTheater in Burbank, California on Thursday, May 19. In addition to a setlist full of their biggest hits, the band also took part in a special Q&A. Throughout the performance, frontman Pat Monahan revealed which song off the new album was inspired by football star Marshawn Lynch and Lionel Richie's hilarious reaction to one of their hit songs. Monahan was joined by the band consisting of Taylor Locke (guitar, vocals), Hector Maldonado (bass, vocals), Jerry Becker (keyboards, guitar), Matt Musty (drums), Sakai Smith (backup vocals), and Nikita Houston (backup vocals).
To kick off the show, Train opened up with the album's titular track "AM Gold," a song about self-love, before throwing it back to "Drive By" from 2012's California 37. When Jill rejoined the band on stage she asked Pat about what inspired the AM Gold's fresh sound. "Actually, working with bandmates, they know me so well, that I maybe had the magic recipe right there in front of me all these years. They just did such a beautiful job of helping me create different parts of my story personality," he explained. "These songs are about real life. Like there's a song called "Bettin' on Me" and I think of that as Train in general. Every year we have to bet on ourselves and put out music that we hope people will like and we just have to keep betting on ourselves." Pat then shared that AM Gold is "really a throwback to a new version of the yesterday Train," and he's excited for fans to hear it.
The band then launched into one of their biggest hits, "Hey, Soul Sister" from 2010's Save Me, San Francisco. Train has sold over 10 million albums and 30 million tracks across the globe thanks to the hit song and others including Drops of Jupiter, which the band also played. The crowd sang along with some inspiration from Pat. "You're on the radio turn it up," he told the crowd as they passionately sang along with him.
They brought it back to the new album with the newly released track "Cleopatra" and brought out Mexican singer Sofía Reyes to help them perform the song live for the first time ever. Taking it back to their 2012 album California 37 once again, they performed the mariachi-influenced "50 Ways to Say Goodbye," before heading back into the AM Gold. Pat revealed that his favorite song off the album was inspired by his good friend, former football running back Marshawn Lynch. Pat said Lynch's dedication to his teams over the years motivated him to "want to be that for someone in a relationship," which is what the song "Running Back" is about.
Taking it back to one of their very first chart-topping hits, they performed "Meet Virginia" from their 1998 self-titled album Train, which was based on a woman named Amber wearing a dress and heels who then proceeded to "whoop our butts" in a softball game against the members of Counting Crows. Then, Pat shared a hilarious story about their next song, "Play That Song." Pat recalled testing out their 2017 hit to a crowd of people before it was released. That crowd included the legendary Lionel Richie. "And he heard that the melody was borrowed from "Heart and Soul" and he just went, 'You mother f---er!' Because he was like, 'why didn't I do that?'" said Pat.
Their penultimate song was "Turn the Radio Up," featuring Jewel, who couldn't be at the album release party but will be singing the song every night when she joins the band on tour this summer. To close out the night, Train played their 2003 song "Calling All Angeles." The cathartic song was the perfect way to bookend the album release party.
Train's AM Gold was released on Friday, May 20. The band will travel across North America in support of the album along with Jewel and the Blues traveler. For tickets and more info, click here.