August in Arizona typically means 105+ degrees and humidity, but on an unusually cool Wednesday night (well 95 degrees) Gavin DeGraw, The Script and Train brought the missing heat.
The musical marathon that is the Mermaids of Alcatraz Tour kicked off with a 45 minute set by Gavin DeGraw. A mix of old songs and a few new ones, Gavin celebrated the ten-year anniversary of his first album by playing the title track ‘Chariot.’ He ran through the crowd to sing his new song ‘Who’s Gonna Save Us,’ as well as a spot-on cover of Justin Timberlake’s ‘Mirrors.’ From start to finish each band member and fan in attendance had a smile on their face. It was the perfect start to a perfect night.
As the sun set, the crew changed over the stage and then a video introduction lead to The Scripts entrance. Fog and bright lights paved way to a backdrop with lyrics to ‘Hall Of Fame.’ The band took to the stage and it didn’t take long for frontman Danny O’Donoghue to be hanging out in the crowd, singing along with fans in the front row. As people sang and danced along, Danny took a step back and just watched with a huge grin on his face. Before the next song he said “it’s the power of music that brings us together” as he talked about how incredible it was that the crowd was so welcoming and receptive. Their set continued with enough energy to keep the lights on for months, although things slowed down just a bit for ‘If You Could See Me Now.’ Following that sentimental moment, Danny played a game. He asked the crowd if anyone would call their ex. A woman in the front row called ‘Jeff’ who answered the phone and listened to all of ‘Nothing.’ ‘Jeff’ was told he’d missed out before being hung up on, leaving the crowd laughing and the band giving each other high-fives. It seemed to be a night of hanging with the crowd as Danny got off stage and went around the entire venue, even to the lawn, to say hello to fans as
he sang. But that wasn’t all, during ‘Hall of Fame’ he surprised everyone, even security, by deciding to take a quick victory lap around the venue.
While the stage was cleared, a few in the crowd remarked that Train would have to work hard to top the two opening acts. The hour and a half of music that was just around the corner, however, would not disappoint. As sounds of a train filled the 10,000+ seat amphitheater, lights flashed on and off. Pat Monahan and the rest of the band walked on stage to be greeted by the smiles and screams of every person in attendance.
With perfect vocals, the sounds of ‘Calling All Angels’ blasted through the speakers as the crowd rose to their feet. Taking photos with fans in the front row and an Instagram video of the crowd, Pat knows how to entertain. He took a minute to say thank you to Arizona, noting that before every record he goes to Sedona for inspiration; without those trips, there would be no success. The trend of lead singers walking into the crowd continued as Pat hopped off stage and made his way all the way back to the lawn and around the pavilion while singing ‘Marry Me.’ After grabbing the big camera and taking a video of the crowd that showed up on the main screen, Pat called out the Arizona mermaids. Amongst them were some of the most adorable little girls, and a few guys in mermaid costumes.
The night continued on with Ashley Monroe coming out to sing ‘Bruises’ and one of her own songs, a techno inspired drum solo and a cover of Macklemore’s hit, ‘Can’t Hold Us.’ The audience came for one style of music and was treated to a little bit of everything. The evening ended with a performance of ‘The Weight’ with Ashley, Gavin and Danny joining Train on stage.
More Photos Courtesy of Arin Segal (ateenview.com)