Behold, stage left!
Meet Train’s monitor engineer, TC, who controls everything the band hears, hence his staring with Bobby Fisher-like intensity at the stage. The paddle looking things are antennae for, ideally (but almost never), crystal-clear in-ear monitor reception. They’re significantly more expensive than they look.
Seated is Train’s bass tech, Tim, hence his staring with Bobby Fisher-like intensity at Train’s bass player, Hector. You can also see Hector’s bass cabinet, mic’d off stage for greater isolation and a cleaner mix out front.
Tim also runs Train’s playback rig, powered by the two laptops.
Running tracks can be a contentious issue, and I get it. Would that we were back in the days when a single bare light bulb and LSD were all that it took to put on a decent show at the Garden.
Train does run a lot of tracks - doubled background vocals and guitars, miscellaneous percussion and keyboard parts - but they’re filling out the sound rather than steering the ship. Quite a few songs - big hits, for example, like “Meet Virginia” - use zero playback, not even a click, and the band still sounds gigantic. Which isn’t surprising, given they’re monster musicians, something that tends to go under appreciated when your biggest hit features ukulele.
Lead singer karaoke’s a bummer, and all too common, but not what’s happening here.