August 30, 2019
PNC Music Pavilion
Review and Photos by Greg Perry
Peter Frampton Says “Farewell” to Charlotte
Peter Frampton said his goodbyes and farewells to the good folks of Charlotte, N.C. with a fantastic and emotional show before an estimated 10K fans at the PNC Music Pavilion. Peter has been diagnosed with IBM (inclusion body myositis), a muscle related illness which over time will steal his ability to perform his trademark guitar skills. Knowing his performing days are limited he embarked on his farewell tour earlier this summer. Friday night he made his stop in Charlotte.
He was in great spirits, smiling and engaging the crowd throughout the performance. His guitar skills were on point and at 69 years young his voice has lost none of its power or tone. He still sounds the same as he did in 1976 when he released the iconic “Frampton Comes Alive” album which at the time was the largest selling LP in history.
The show opens with a brief video diary of his life and career displayed on the screens, followed by the band’s entrance. Then, to thunderous applause Mr. Frampton himself appeared. Beginning with a high energy performance of a track from “Frampton Comes Alive” called “Something’s Happening”, then rolled through “Lying” and the fantastic “Lines on My Face”. The crowd screamed with delight next when Frampton cranked up the talk box and powered through the monster hit “Show Me the Way”.
Between tracks many times during the show, he relayed stories of his long career. One such moment was the song “Fig Tree Bay” which he explained was written for his first solo album back in 1972. He and his amazing band then performed a 3-song set from the recently released “All Blues” album which has been number 1 on the blues chart for last 10 weeks. His outstanding axe skills on display, Frampton cruised through an instrumental version of “Georgia on My Mind” and followed that with Freddie King’s great song “Me and My Guitar”. He closed out the mini set with a rousing performance of another King classic, “Same Old Blues”.
As he churned powerfully into the show’s home stretch, he performed his 80’s hit “Breaking All the Rules.” He touched the hearts and souls of the capacity crowd with a tribute to Chris Cornell, performing a fantastic instrumental version of the Soundgarden track “Black Hole Sun”. Not allowing the crowd to recover, he and his guitarist Adam Lester sent the crowd careening wildly out of control with the incredible, rocking tour de force “Money”. This song easily went on for 10 minutes or more plus and included a dramatic guitar duel between Frampton and Lester. At times, you couldn’t tell who had the upper hand in this epic battle as Lester is a very impressive axe-man himself. The incredible rocking track led right into the classic “Baby I Love Your Way”, on which he gave a beautiful acoustic performance augmented by the huge crowd who joined in and sang every word, much to the delight on Mr. Frampton.
They closed out the pre-encore portion of the show with his signature crowd favorite rocker “Do You Feel Like We Do” before taking their bows to a standing ovation from the very appreciative audience.
Returning after a few minutes, Frampton performed a 3-track encore highlighting a couple of flaming rockers from his “Humble Pie” days – “Four Day Creep” and the killer “I Don’t Need No Doctor”. These were wonderful show choices that had the crowd going wild as they flat out cooked, and they were made extra special as the audience was treated to keyboard master Rob Arthur’s incredible vocal skill as he shared duties with Peter on these two outstanding numbers.
Frampton’s legendary guitar skills closed the show with an inspired performance of the Beatles classic “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. An unexpected surprise, the crowd expressed their approval with loud and lengthy applause. Peter took to the mic one last time to thank the crowd and say his goodbyes. Visibly moved, (his eyes teared up and he was obviously overcome with emotion) he drank in the outpouring of love from his audience. We all left the arena hoping, somehow, someway he beats the odds and overcomes this disease and returns to delight us once again with his amazing skills.
He and his music are such a blessing and treasure to us all!