Monday, February 20, 2012

Frampton Comes Alive, And Proves He's Not Dead

Due to a glitch in someone else's double booked plans, I got a ticket to see Peter Frampton play the entirety of Frampton Comes Alive. This was probably one of the first albums I ever bought, but it was never really my cup of tea. The appeal was mostly in his long, blonde locks, but the music - all love songs - was pretty generic. He has that signature synthesized voice and guitar combination sound that makes you sing along like Charlie Brown's teacher, and I guess at the time it was interesting, but for me it didn't hold up. It was also one of the first double albums I ever had, if not the first. And thus, it is very likely that I used it more for cleaning out seeds (yes, young 'uns, pot used to have seeds, I know, crazy) than for listening.

What I like about the album is that sides 1 and 4 are on one disc and sides 2 and 3 on the other to comply with the stackability issue, so you can easily listen to the album in order. I never had a stacking record player so it meant nothing to me then, but as I played it now it confused the heck out of me. Frampton explained why one song was played out of order from the album - it was on Side 2 because of the 20 minute time limit per side, but I would never have known. I did know when he reached Side 3 because that was the start of the songs I hardly knew at all. It's too hard to find any double albums from the one stack we have in the house, as the spines are so faded they are almost unreadable, but I did find Hot Rocks and they have sides 1 and 2 on the same record, so this wasn't always the norm.

The projections behind him were disturbing. Who would want to play in front of a constant stream of photos of yourself from 30-40 years ago? How depressing. But it's a nostalgia tour, so I guess it makes sense, to somebody.

One highlight was when his son, Julian Frampton, who looked to be around 20, sang two songs with him. The son's voice is much more up my alley - a strong rock and roll voice - and I wished he had more stage time.

All in all the night was great fun. Pure straight up rock and roll from the 70's. The 61 year old can still play the shit out of the guitar, and he played for 3 hours, much of it by himself on the stage.

Here's a few seconds of Show Me The Way. Judge for yourself.

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