Tivoli Theatre – Chattanooga, Tennessee
June 23, 2019
Like most of you who are Peter Frampton fans, I became a fan of his when his LP, Frampton Comes Alive, dominated the airwaves and records sales, becoming one of the biggest selling live albums in history. I played a lot of serious air guitar to that album (I was quite amazing, actually, judging by the audience response in my teenaged head). I was envious of my friends who got to see him live at ASU Sun Devil stadium in March of 1976 during the filming of the outdoor concert scenes for Barbara Streisand’s version of A Star Is Born. If memory serves me correctly, there were complaints from ten miles away of the sound.
Those were the days.
Fast-forward twenty-five years later, I took my daughter to see Peter Frampton for her sixteenth birthday at Fort Worth’s gorgeous Bass Hall. To this day, we joke as to whose birthday present it actually was – hers or mine (our birthdays are in the same month).
So, last night, I sat in my very good seat (there’s not a bad one in the Tivoli) and allowed those wonderful memories flood my mind realizing that – barring some miracle, this is Frampton’s last tour. Rather than be saddened, I embraced the memories and what Peter’s music meant to me and how much mental real estate his work occupies on the soundtrack of my youth.
Priming the crowd was the Theme from Rocky, as if to tell us all that Peter is a fighter and he’s not going to let his medical malady be greeted without a ferocious fight. hit the stage with his well-oiled machine of a band. That band consists of Adam Lester on second guitar, Steve Mackey on bass, Rob Arthur on keys, and Dan “Woj” Wojciechowski on drums. These guys are some of the finest musicians around and Peter gets them to their best each and every night on stage as well as when they’re in the studio. There’s a tight, family-like feel from them, too, while they’re on stage.
Starting with “Baby (Somethin’s Happening), they slid on through to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”, “Lines On My Face”, and “Show Me The Way” before taking the time to tell a detailed story of one of his new songs, “I Saved A Bird Today”. Fascinating story and a great song!
Frampton then treated us to three great tunes from his latest LP, “All Blues”: “Georgia On My Mind”, “Me and My Guitar”, and “Same Old Blues” – each bringing the sell-out crowd to their feet. Peter then brought us back to his great catalog of work that included “Breaking All the Rules”, his amazing cover of the Soundgarden tune, “Black Hole Sun”, “(I’ll Give You) Money”, and “Baby, I Love Your Way” before closing the show (pre encore) with “Do You Feel Like We Do”.
In between the songs, Frampton shared stories peppered with his incredible sense (and, sometimes, self-deprecating) humor. The crowd loved it all.
For his encore, Peter served up a cover of the Ida Cox tune, “Four Day Creep” before segueing into Ray Charles’ “I Don’t Need No Doctor” and closing with a tribute to his late friend, George Harrison, by playing “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”.
Hopefully, we’ll still hear from Peter Frampton after he’s off the road to face what he is having to deal with. Even if we don’t, we all added to the treasure chest of memories last night by watching such a great rock icon perform.
We’re all rooting for you, Peter, and, no matter what, we’re your fans for the whole distance. Let's chat sometime.