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Peter Frampton Is Alive and Well in Nashville

by Rich and Laura Lynch

"I love you Nashville - you're gonna heal me," declared an exuberant Peter Frampton as he concluded a triumphant show at the Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville, Tennessee on August 29, 2019 in front of an appreciative hometown crowd. He shared that he has felt so much warmth and love from fans on this recent tour which is being billed as his last. The statements were an acknowledgment that Peter is dealing with inclusion body myositis (IBM), an inflammatory disease that weakens and atrophies the muscles in the arms, hands, and legs which could impact Frampton's ability to play guitar in the future.

Peter Frampton Is Alive and Well in Nashville
Peter Frampton played a feel good show in Nashville.

The concert was a celebration of the man and his music. Peter started out in garage bands before forming Humble Pie in 1969. Frampton was also an in demand session player who worked with George Harrison, Jerry Lee Lewis and more. He became a sexy superstar with the release of Frampton Comes Alive which is still among the best-selling live albums of all time. The platinum platter showcased an array of styles, techniques and technologies which have become Frampton's trademarks along with sizzling guitar solos which were a big part of Thursday's performance.

"Be in the moment," said Peter in a film before the lights went down. Frampton and his talented team were very much in the moment in Music City as they presented a polished career spanning set spiked with commentary. Peter mentioned that early in his solo career he recorded at Hendrix's Electric Lady Studios which led into a track from that time period - the reflective "Lines On My Face" followed by a winning "Show Me The Way".

Peter Frampton Is Alive and Well in Nashville
Frampton's capable five-piece featured a mostly all-Music City lineup.

Peter informed the crowd that he always loved the blues. His most recent chart topper All Blues pays homage to the genre, so it made sense that the Nashville set included two killer Freddie King covers (Me and My Guitar & Same Old Blues). Peter also talked about Fingerprints (2006) his all instrumental album that gave the guitarist an opportunity to meet and perform with some of his idols.

Chatting about Fingerprints Peter mentioned that "Black Hole Sun" was a great song that he wished he had written. It was the ideal tune for this project as Frampton was concerned that he could not do it justice vocally. Apparently, singer/songwriter Chris Cornell liked the version and invited Peter to perform it with him. On Thursday, Frampton dedicated it to the artist and his family. Peter's mystical version was enhanced by effective lighting and astronomy themed graphics. The imagery, utilized to perfection throughout the show, helped underscore why his take on the Soundgarden song helped propel him to his first Grammy win in 2007.

Peter Frampton Is Alive and Well in Nashville
Peter Frampton came alive for a hometown crowd at the Ascend.

The concert reached its climatic moment with the classics "Baby I Love Your Way" and "Do You Feel Like We Do" that featured band solos along with a call and response part with the audience. The group quickly returned for their encore with a Humble Pie hit flowing into a gorgeous "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". Frampton was in fine form proving that he is still at the top of his game while he combats IBM with fund raising and research. Peter has stated that he hopes to become the face of IBM and be able to raise awareness for it and we hope that all the positive energy and prayers for Peter will heal him so that he can truly sing "I Don't Need No Doctor".

Opening for Frampton was JBLZE who will be on the road with Peter through early October of 2019. Jason Bonham (JB) was already playing a scaled down set of drums at age five and got a record deal by the age of 17. Jason learned to play his instrument by observing one of the best - his father - the late John Bonham. During his set Jason said that his tribute to his Dad and the music of Led Zeppelin was planned as a one night only event. Nine years later the show is still going strong.

Peter Frampton Is Alive and Well in Nashville
Jason Bonham was master of ceremonies for his Led Zeppelin Evening.

"He was just Dad - I did not realize how great he was until he was gone," shared Jason who thanked his Dad for the music and for showing him how to play the drums. Bonham has surrounded himself with skilled players who perform the potent catalog of LZ with power and precision. JBLZE kept to the main structure of the songs while adding their own subtle spins to their jams. Highlights of their set included. "Ramble On", a bold "Black Dog", a sexually charged "Whole Lotta Love" and a rousing Rock and Roll". Jason dedicated their last tune to each and every one of you - a song of hope - "Stairway To Heaven".

It was a perfect summer night in Nashville for an outdoor concert. For both groups it was a make-up for a gig that had been canceled earlier in the year due to weather. We saw two high caliber acts do what they do best with both bands tipping their hats to the past while living in the present and most importantly giving fans hope.

Peter Frampton Is Alive and Well in Nashville
For JBLZE, the third time was the charm after two previous rain-outs in the last year.

Related Links: For more information on PETER FRAMPTON and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links -- Peter Frampton | Jason Bonham | Ascend Amphitheater


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