Train and others mixing it up

By | August 20, 2010

BaltimoreSun

Train’s career seemed all but stalled when, seemingly out of the blue, the band rebounded with the monster hit “Hey, Soul Sister.”

Pop radio carpet-bombed the country with the upbeat acoustic single, and suddenly Train was back in the limelight. “Hey, Soul Sister” became the San Francisco band’s highest-charting hit to date, making it all the way to the No. 3 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. On Sunday, Train headlines Mixfest at Pier Six Pavilion, along with the Backstreet Boys and Hanson.

This isn’t the first time Train has been near the top of the charts. The band formed in 1994 and toiled in relative obscurity until cracking the charts with “Meet Virginia,” a charming song from their first, self-titled album.

Train’s second album, “Drops of Jupiter,” which came out in 2001, made the band famous. The song “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me),” which used astronomical metaphors to describe a broken relationship, climbed to No. 4 and stayed in the Top 40 for nearly 40 weeks. The 2003 album “My Private Nation” went platinum, but the follow-up, “For Me, It’s You,” didn’t generate much buzz, and the band went on hiatus for three years.

It’s possible that Train will have the most new fans in the audience at Sunday’s show. While the Backstreet Boys were huge in the ’90s and early ’00s, the band’s latest album failed to make a splash in the U.S. — though it sold briskly overseas. Hanson, who helps round out the lineup, is most famous for the hit single “MMMBop,” but still has a dedicated, loyal fan base.

Mixfest is 6 p.m. Sunday at Pier Six Pavilion, 731 Eastern Ave. Tickets are $35-$85. Call 410-783-4189 or go to piersixpavilion.com.