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Live Review: Train Sydney Opera House

11 June 2012 | 4:29 pm | Rebecca Neilsen

A little terrifying, sure, but there was something so truly joyful about it that all you could do was smile.

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Matt Nathanson. Maybe there's something more to this also-ran John Mayer, and maybe not. If he doesn't get past the too-clever-by-half lyrics and amble along without offending anyone's melodies, no one will ever know. Having said that, he seems like a jolly enough chap and everyone wishes him well – some young ladies in the audience more than most – but that's to be expected.

Train fans are not the cool kids. They don't have the cool haircuts or the skinny jeans. They don't know where the hip new bars are and they probably wouldn't know how to begin downloading the latest season of Breaking Bad, let alone have heard of Game Of Thrones. Having said that, they can lift the roof off the Opera House better than any collection of indie hipsters watching The xx while pretending they don't care now that everyone's into them. Guilty pleasure or not, this was a rollicking good-time show enjoyed by those on the stage and in the audience.

A setlist that's heavy with newer songs can be risky, but seemingly not so with these fans. Every word was sung loud and proud. Imagine, if you can, some 2600-ish people all dancing like no one was watching. A little terrifying, sure, but there was something so truly joyful about it that all you could do was smile.

Some could've done without the Delta Goodrem duet on Bruises, but those people (all bar one) were not inside the room at the time. Get To Me was almost lost as frontman Pat Monahan grabbed phones and cameras being held aloft at the edge of the stage and attempted to take photos of himself with the owners (“No really, he actually took this, that's why you can't see him. Or me. But he did!” they'll have posted already). Calling All Angels was a nice inclusion, Marry Me was charming, and all in all it was a well-oiled machine playing to people who would've been happy if they'd farted in tune.

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The big hits were scattered throughout the set at nicely timed intervals, which kept the vibe chugging along for most of the night. With Save Me, San Francisco, Drops Of Jupiter and Hey, Soul Sister garnering the most foot stomping, hand waving and full-throated singing, it was also nice to see the very, very early Meet Virginia get a nod and more than a little recognition.

A nicely unexpected good time in a blue light disco kinda way, but much fun nonetheless. Well played gents, well played.