By EMMALEE C. TORISK
Early Sunday, hours before pop- rock band Train was scheduled to play for a crowd in the Canfield Fair’s grandstand and on its track, devoted fans Airen Platt and Kayla Kreller were already waiting.
The 20-year-old Platt, of Ashtabula, and the 17-year-old Kreller, of Warren, were first and second in line, respectively. Both had purchased tickets for standing seating, and hoped to snag a spot in the front row of the concert, which began at 8 p.m.
“I wanted to get as close as possible,” said Platt, who arrived at the Canfield Fairgrounds and staked out a place in line at 10 a.m. Sunday. “I’ve been a fan for a long time, since 2008.”
Kreller, who was donning a Train T-shirt, joined Platt shortly afterward, about noon. She’s liked the band since 2004, ever since she first heard the chart-topping “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me).”
In July, Kreller won tickets to see Train perform at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls and knew she just had to see the band play at the Canfield Fair, too.
“I really wanted to see them again,” Kreller said. “It’s nice [the Canfield Fair] got Train.”
Brooke and Emily Bullen, sisters from New Middletown, said though they’d purchased their Train tickets pretty much as soon as they were able, they also had to buy one Sunday for their father, John Bullen.
“Our whole family likes their music,” said Emily, 20. “Not all their stuff sounds the same, but you can still tell it’s them.”
“I just like that kind of music,” Brooke, 15, added.
Since forming in San Francisco in 1994, Train — now consisting of vocalist Pat Monahan, guitarist Jimmy Stafford, and drummer Scott Underwood — has released six studio albums. The trio also has had a slew of hit songs over the years, including “Meet Virginia” and “Hey, Soul Sister.”
The California-based band’s most recent hit is “Drive By,” which appeared on last year’s “California 37” album.
R.J. Kaltenbach, of Klein’s Entertainment of Chicago, said the Canfield Fair’s grandstand entertainment helps to distinguish it from other county fairs.
For example, Kaltenbach’s company, who has produced the fair’s shows since the 1960s, booked three Grammy winners — all of whom are “phenomenal,” he said — to perform at the 167th Canfield Fair.
When Kaltenbach began scouting out potential artists to play at this year’s fair back in October, he knew he wanted a rock act, simply to diversify the fair’s musical offerings.
“Who better than Train?” he said. “Train is on fire right now.”
Kaltenbach said the fair’s board has long been committed to bringing in the best entertainment available, which has over the years fostered a widespread reputation.
“People know it’s a top-notch fair, which enables them to have this caliber of artist,” he said. “That’s come throughout the years of the fair board doing it the right way.”
Tickets for tonight’s show featuring country performers Sheryl Crow and Gary Allan are still available at the grandstand box office.
“It’s going to be a great show, with two great artists,” Kaltenbach said.