I can’t possibly report back on every show I attend, but sometimes, when I have a great time, I can’t resist. I took in the Heart & Peter Frampton double bill this past Wednesday night at the Bank of America Pavilion and had a blast. I know a bunch of you youngsters will roll your eyes at the old timer reliving his glory days, but this was a lot of fun. First, I had seen Peter Frampton last summer at Showcase Live, a great little venue on the grounds of Gillette Stadium where the Patriots play football. He was really great so when I saw him on the bill with one of my Guilty Pleasures Heart not ten miles from my house I wasn’t going to pass that up. I’m glad I didn’t.
Peter Frampton can play guitar. You can make fun of him all you want, but the crowd was really pumped to see him do his thing once again the other night. He didn’t disappoint. I would imagine, after all the success he’s had, that running out there for an hour in front of one his contemporaries back in the day has got to be a bit of a downer, but if that is true you wouldn’t know it by his performance. His set list included a couple of the usual suspects including “Baby, I Love Your Way”, but he managed to play a couple of my personal favorites in “It’s a Plain Shame” and “(I’ll Give You) Money.” He ripped into “Do You Feel Like We Do” and the crowd ate it up. His encore was a cover of The Beatles classic “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” In fact he did manage to run out his Soundgarden cover of “Black Hole Sun” as well. It was a small sample size, but if you were a Frampton fan back in the day as I was, this was a total blast. I could have gone for five more songs easy. His bows got some serious applause at the end of his set.
Heart came whipping out of the gates with “Cook With Fire” from their 1978 LP Dog & Butterfly. As someone who loved that record, I really enjoyed that. “Heartless” was next and Heart hadn’t lost a step. Ann & Nancy Wilson still front the band and they sound as good as they ever have. As I have mentioned in my previous post on Heart, I kind of jumped off the bandwagon when they went to the ballads. I know the songs “Never” and “These Dreams,” which they played, but they were not what I loved about Heart. That said, the younger folks in the crowd sang those numbers at the top of their lungs while I grabbed a refreshment. I have to tell you, between Bad Company and Heart in the great outdoors, I had to bring my own towel to remain composed. It was another lovely 90 degree day here in Boston for most folks, but I look forward to those late summer early fall crisper nights of concert going. I have The Black Keys lined up tomorrow night and I hope the weather brings some relief. It’s hard to enjoy yourself when you are perspiring your brains out.
Heart’s set included what you might expect; “Crazy On You?” Check. “Barracuda?” Check. “Magic Man?” Yep. The three most overplayed Heart songs were played consecutively prior to their encore, but they all had life to them. I really didn’t mind. I got “Straight On,” which is one my favorites, but I was disappointed to see “Love Alive” from 1977′s Little Queen left off the set list. What I loved was a mash up of “Even It Out” and one of my all time favorite songs “Gimme Shelter” played almost simultaneously. I never would have thought that they would sound remotely alike, but Heart pulled it off and then some. I loved it. They slowed down “Even It Up” and mixed the verses during the performance. Pretty cool. Rape! Murder! It’s just a shot away. They did two covers for encores; “What is and What Should Never Be” by you know who and “Love Reign O’er Me” by The Who. During their migration to the stage the PA blared the intro to the Led Zeppelin classic “In The Light.” It’s enough to make an old timer wet himself I tell you…
Bottom Line? If you are thinking about catching this show in your town don’t hesitate. Both bands were high energy and played most of their hits. Heart had about five songs going I didn’t know, but that is something I expected because I haven’t bought any of their records since 1983 or so. I know they have a new record coming out and Wikipedia is tentatively calling it Red Velvet Car, but Heart still sounds like a million bucks if you were a fan of theirs in the 70′s. The same and more absolutely goes for Peter Frampton too. Go see them for yourself.
Buy or Download Heart’s Greatest Hits from Amazon here.