@ Walnut Creek September 14, 2019
Review by: Wade Giddens
Photos by: Michael Macsuga
Frampton’s Farewell Tour came to Raleigh’s Walnut Creek over the weekend. One of the most successful acts of the 70’s, he released, Frampton Comes Alive in 1976. It sold 8 million copies making it the biggest selling live album of that time, and it still ranks as 4th of all time. My memories of seeing his performances on TV in sold out stadiums made me wonder, how’s this show going to go down. I haven’t followed his career but I was hoping it was not going to be like a sad flash back of an aging Rock Star performing past his time. He quickly put that thought to rest as he is still an incredible performer, artist and guitarist. Young in spirit, he seemed to really be enjoying himself which was received and returned by the crowd gathered there.
Frampton performed his greatest hits from the 70’s but also he filled in the gaps of all the time in between with music he’s been making throughout the years, as well as a few tributes to former band members and people that influenced his life. Super impressive guitarist and his voice is still good both with and without his trademark voice box. If you were in attendance I bet you… feel like I do….
He introduced many of his songs with personal stories from the time they were written. He was genuine and entertaining. One of my favorite stories was his memory of buying a new green drum set for his drummer in the 70’s before he was at the peak of his career.After his commercial success faded and his drummer passed so did many years… his band was back together playing music when one of his bandmates finds that same drum set for sale on ebay. So Frampton says, I guess I have to buy it for a second time but admittedly had to pay a much higher price than he originally bought it for. He also located one of his guitars after 35 years. Both the drum set and guitar were reunited and are with him onstage on this tour.
A couple of things I learned that maybe the hard core Peter Frampton fans already knew… Frampton released an instrumental album in 2005, he says it bombed commercially… however it earned his only Grammy. He played one of the singles, a cover of Sound Garden’s “Blackhole Sun.” Towards the end of that instrumental he sang BlackHole Sun into his voice box… An original twist I thought… Frampton shared that he was contacted by Chris Cornell and invited to play the song live with Chris onstage… One of the highlights of his career, he says. Another thing I learned is that he toured with Steve Miller Band last year which inspired him to make a blues album. “All Blues”was released 14 weeks ago, it has been #1 on the Blues Charts for the last 11 weeks. Definitely on my list to buy. He preformed 3 tracks from that album. They were all excellent!
By the end of the show I became a fan of Peter Frampton, the young and the older. Incredible artist, guitarist and person. Although this was pegged his farewell tour, I really hope he’s not done yet.