Peter Frampton Bids Farewell at Rousing Blossom Concert

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JOE KLEON
Photo by Joe Kleon
Peter Frampton was destined to be a rock star. He attended school with David Bowie and played concerts there alongside Bowie’s band before dabbling into psychedelic rock with the Herd, transitioning into the hard rock world with Humble Pie, becoming a solo artist and setting the world on fire with his 1976 double-live release Frampton Comes Alive.

Last night, Frampton brought six decades of musical prowess to Blossom Music Center. The 17-song, two hour-and-15-minute spectacle showcased why Frampton has deservingly become a musical and cultural icon.

You can see photos from the concert here.

Touching down at Blossom smack dab in the middle of a 50-date farewell tour, billed as the Peter Frampton Finale, Frampton treated the audience to a warm, intimate evening full of engaging stories and expressive jams. Frampton strayed from his usual cookie cutter-ish format, and the captivating and engaging set contained a handful of tracks from his latest release, All Blues. Critically acclaimed, this record of blues covers debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Blues chart.

Often trading jams with various members in the band, many songs had an improvisational and spontaneous vibe. The band was as far away from “phoning it in” as I have ever seen. The joy and fun bouncing riffs off each other created a warm and vibrant atmosphere. The closing track before the encore was a 20-plus minute version of “Do You Feel Like We Do” with extended everything, solidifying this classic track as one of the most timeless rock anthems of all time. A trio of covers ended the night and included a jaw dropping version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening opened the show with their tribute to the late great John Bonham and Led Zeppelin. The band tore through a set of Zeppelin’s biggest hits but lacked the depth of longer jams and deeper cuts, which were a staple of live Zeppelin shows.

The band performed an energetic set of Zeppelin’s greatest hits, slowly capturing the still arriving crowd. Singer James Dillon has the range and power to pull off any Zeppelin song. Guitarist Jimmy Sakurai has a strong resemblance to Page and played the parts perfectly but was a little over the top with his mannerisms and facial expressions. We get it. You are supposed to be Jimmy Page. You play great. You look the part. A little less Page prancing and a little more spontaneous, off the cuff soloing would enhance the Zeppelin experience.

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