CONCERT REVIEW: PETER FRAMPTON Brings Awe-Inspiring Evening of Timeless Classics to South Florida (July 3rd, 2023)

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

Seating on his chair, while his fingers run wild over his signature modified Les Paul guitar – the iconic instrument he played almost exclusively for 10 years in the 70s, the same that made its way back to his hands after being lost another 31 laps around the sun – Peter Frampton is the living proof that determination can conquer any obstacles.

Long gone are the days in the mid-seventies when “Frampton Comes Alive” was everywhere, and its anthemic hits “Do You Feel Like We Do”, “Show Me the Way” and “Baby, I Love Your Way” were in constant rotation, successfully turning Frampton into a superstar. The passing of Father Time has confined Frampton to a chair during his live performances – he was diagnosed with a progressive muscle disorder (inclusion body myositis) years ago – yet his charm, sense of humor, and more importantly his playing and singing abilities remain as intact as ever, his contagious smile and enthusiasm spilling over the ecstatic audience.

The night’s main set exclusively focuses on Frampton’s solo career, including eight cuts from “Frampton Comes Alive”. The album’s biggest hit “Show Me the Way”, is the fourth song in the running order, and his talk box guitar solo sounds as emotional and vibrant as when I first dropped the needle on that vinyl, many, many moons ago. Frampton does not look like his likeliness in the video slideshow the show starts with – highlighting moments from his career with Humble Pie, hanging out with David Bowie, or playing in massive stadiums – but the joy he plays and shreds with exudes might, complexity and the skills that only come with decades of experience. The night belongs to him and his band, song after song. This is not a nostalgic evening, but a jubilant celebration of the legacy of a brilliant musician, one who refuses to walk away from the stage when there are still notes to play.

The highlights of the 17-song-long set-list are as frequent as the cheering from the crowd is. The euphoric instrumental rendition of “Georgia (On My Mind)” is sublime, with Frampton playing the vocal melody in a refined exhibition of blues guitar. Soundgarden’s massive hit “Black Hole Sun” has been a staple of Frampton’s live shows for a while, and the interpretation carries his own touch all over – as any good cover should – with the original vocal parts replaced by Frampton’s distorted and effect-laden guitars, with a talk-box section added at the very end while a photo of Chris Cornell shows in the big screen. Simply poignant.

“Can’t Take That Away” is a 10-minute masterclass of perfect blues phrasing and note choices, including Frampton’s humorous banter about the differences in the pronunciation of the song title between American and British English. The sophisticated and jazz-infused interplay between Frampton and Rob Arthur is only rivaled by “I’ll Give You Money,” a rousing rocker that evolves into a showcase of guitar dexterity as Peter and his long-time wing-man Adam Lester swap off solos back and forth, while the unremitting bass/drums section pushes steadily as the backbone for the tour-de-force rendition.

“Do You Feel Like We Do” is the last cut of the main set, and as expected it gets everyone on their feet, clapping and singing: a 17-minute journey that kicks the proceedings into overdrive, extensively featuring Frampton’s trademark talk-box guitar effects, while the spotlight bounces between Arthur, Frampton and Lester. When the thunderous applause fades, Frampton addresses the audience once again: “This is the moment where, in the old days, we’d stumble off stage, do some drugs, and come back and play three fast songs, but today we are not going to waste your time or ours, we are gonna carry on. Are you OK with that?”

The three-song encore veers away from Frampton’s solo career and take us on a trip down memory lane. Two upbeat Humble Pie renditions from the “Performance: Rockin’ The Fillmore” album make presence: first “Four Day Creep”, which segues into an unexpected guitar solo, and then their energetic blues-rocker “I Don’t Need No Doctor” featuring an instrumental section of “Walk On Gilded Splinters”. It’s pure classic rock heaven at this point, and the nightcap couldn’t be more fitting: a beautiful version of The Beatles“While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” where Frampton summons George Harrison in an eloquent and tasteful way.

In an awe-inspiring evening flooded with timeless songs, Frampton – who really doesn’t have anything to prove at this point – shows us the way, and demonstrates once again why he’s undeniably one of rock’s finest guitarists; one who defies the odds and continues to thrill audiences, while still very much at the top of his game.



Comments are closed.

error: This content is copyrighted!