Peter Frampton was a much-loved performer back in the 70s. It was the first of July in 1976 when he came to Colt Park in Hartford and nearly didn’t perform after falling off the stage during rehearsal. But he rallied and it turned out to be a great show. “Frampton Comes Alive” became one of the most frequently played records on every station that year (shout out to WPLR), and a record collection staple.
The band that started my record collection was Led Zeppelin, after I had seen them perform at the Montreal Forum in ’69 (and again in ’77 at Madison Square Garden). And while Frampton’s looks and locks were nearly up to par with Robert Plant’s and his songs incredibly likable, his music didn’t take me to the heights of Led Zeppelin. And that summer, Physical Graffiti was still the album on the top of my record pile.
So when I bought tickets early this year to see Frampton’s Finale tour on 10/12/19, it wasn’t necessarily because I wanted to see Frampton go out with a bang, but maybe more so that Jason Bonham was his opening act. Bonham is the son of the Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham who inherited his father’s drumming chops; he tours under the name JBLZE or “Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening”.
Before the show, my cousin and I met for dinner a few miles from the venue and for the first time we Uber’d our way to the concert. It turned out to be a good way to avoid the long lines of traffic coming in and out of the venue. And though I thought I would have come out of there saying that Frampton was my favorite part of the show, I would have to tell you otherwise. Bonham’s drumming was flawless and his setlist perfect, beginning with Immigrant Song and ending with Stairway to Heaven. My favorite number however was Kashmir, of which I captured a little clip.
That’s not to say that Frampton didn’t put on a great show. In fact, I was just as impressed with his guitar playing as I was with Bonham’s drumming. It was just that I think people wanted to hear more from the days of old instead of only the six tunes that everyone knows, like his opener What’s Happening that you can see on my YouTube channel. In fact, I didn’t mind that he added some blues songs to his setlist and I especially enjoyed his version of Hoagy Carmichael’s Georgia on My Mind. I’m always grateful when I get to see a live performance, and appreciate when I get to share it with family and/or friends.