I had never been to a show at White River Amphitheatre other than for a festival to see multiple bands. I had never driven out to Auburn on a weekday, only on a Saturday, and knew that traffic would. . . Suck. The line-up for this show was WAY too good to miss even a minute of the show, so we arrived nearly two hours before it began. We (my daughter and I) had decent tickets for seats just below the box level that I had purchased the day they went on sale. We weren’t in any hurry to get in line, so we decided to just hang around will call, which allowed us the chance to sit and relax. To my surprise, there was a music fan who approached me and gifted me and my daughter nearly front row seats. Yes, I said GIFT! He had said that his daughter couldn’t come to the show, and he wanted to give the tickets away. Let’s just say, I was very glad we had waited to get in line.
First up for the evening was Gavin DeGraw. I had seen him many times before and he was just as good a live performer this time around as he had been each time in the past. Although the venue wasn’t nearly 2/3 full (so many people were stuck in traffic), he played the set with full energy, and top-notch vocals, performing past hits as well as new songs off his latest album, Sweeter. He’s come a long way from guest-starring on Dead Like Me to providing the opening theme song for One Tree Hill (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVzouDIg5Nw), and to his latest performance of “Best I Ever Had” on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
The Script played the middle slot, and I was very excited finally to see them perform again. The one – and only time – I had seen them in the past was in 2009 at a sold out show at The Crocodile, in Belltown. It was the hottest day of the year, and about 20 degrees hotter inside the venue. It was worth enduring the heat. They’re a great band, and although that show was before they “hit it big” in the US, they played a fantastic show. Their band has increased in size for this tour, adding a keyboardist and a bass player for their stage shows. Lead singer, Danny O’Donoghue played his keyboard at center stage, moved around the stage, and left the stage to sing amongst the crowd. The Script has played to huge crowds all over the world, and you could tell by the energy of the crowd clear up to the lawn that their fans – dancing and singing along to every note – were eager to see them. This tour was in support of their third release, aptly named #3.
Headlining the show was Train. Slated as their “hometown show” (lead singer Pat Monahan currently resides in Issaquah), it also was their last stop on their Mermaids of Alcatraz tour. Their last show in the area had been at The Puyallp Fair last fall. Tonight’s show featured a much broader range of songs, a bigger light show, and was able to accommodate a larger number of fans. In the middle of their set, they brought up a large group of fans who dressed as “Mermaids”, and sang their song “Mermaid” off their 2012 release, California 37. The final song of the evening included a cover song of the Band’s “The Weight,” where they invited members of The Script, Gavin DeGraw, and up-and-coming country singer, Ashley Monroe (who also sang a duet, “Bruises” with Monahan earlier in the evening) back to the stage. They then asked the entire stage crew and all band members to come to the stage for a final bow of the wrap up of the tour.