As you may well know, Peter Frampton is currently on his final tour. This tour will bring a close to one of the greatest rock artist careers that we have seen. From his humble (pun fully intended) beginnings to a solo career that has garnered a massive following, Peter Frampton defined a generation, and then some. This past Friday, I got to see him once again in Cincinnati. And this one was one for the ages.
He opened with Something’s Happening. I have loved this song since I first heard it back in the 70s. I don’t think he has a song that would be a better opening tune than this one. The crowd was electric from the opening chord. Signed, Sealed, Delivered was up next; a stellar cover of a Stevie Wonder song. The I’m In You album is such a great piece of Frampton’s legacy. There isn’t a bad song on there. If you haven’t heard the entire album, make that positive change in your life today.
Then, at least for me, the highlight of any Peter Frampton concert; Lines On My Face. This has long been my favorite song of his. It is easily one of the greatest rock songs ever recorded, at least in my eyes. He prefaced the song by talking about former band mates from the Frampton Comes Alive era, John Siomos and Bob Mayo, both who passed in 2004. He dedicated the song to them and even gave us “Bob Mayo on the keyboards, Bob Mayo” one more time. Goosebumps. He played this song with more passion and emotion than I believe I’ve ever heard anyone play. Truly one of the best live music moments of my life.
Song after song, throughout the entire evening, Peter Frampton was at his peak. This is no surprise to anyone who has seen him. This was my third time, and he has always put on a perfect show. Show Me the Way, Breaking All the Rules, Black Hole Sun, complete with a tribute to Chris Cornell. All night long, musical Utopia. The extended I’ll Give You Money, with dueling guitar solos was mind blowing. Closing out his regular set with Baby I Love Your Way and Do You Feel Like We Do would have sent my teenaged self over the edge. Hell, who am I kidding? I’m 55 now and was as ecstatic as one of those girls when the Beatles came to America. This was a magical night; the kind of concert that we all wish all of our favorite artists would perform. You could see the emotion on his face, hear it in his voice, as he said goodbye one last time to the city he called home for 14 years. He said he didn’t want to leave. Well, Peter, we didn’t want you to leave.
I got the Frampton Comes Alive album for my birthday in 7th grade. Frampton, along with Fleetwood Mac and Kansas, provided a soundtrack for my teenage years. These guys gave us the music that forces the nostalgia to kick in for people my age. The songs that really mattered were gifted to us by these extremely talented musicians. When I hear these songs, I’m transported back to those days, whether it was hanging with friends or those awkward Sock Hop moments. I don’t know if Peter Frampton will read this, but if he does, thank you, sir. Thank you for a lifetime of music, and thank you for sharing your gift with us.