The Steve Miller Band and Peter Frampton rolled into town Tuesday night and delivered a straight up, no gimmick rock and roll/blues show that delighted their Toronto fans. What an awesome show.
The rains decided to come down part way through Frampton’s opening set, but this didn’t really seem to dampen the spirits, as everyone continued to cheer and sing, and make a few trips to the beer concessions too. Although Frampton was on first, I really felt this was more of a co-headlining show. Let’s face it, these are two bonafide musicians who have indelibly left their mark on the music world for literally decades. Peter claims to he has known Steve Miller for 47 years (Miller suggests it’s 50 years) buy hey, what’s a few years amongst friends. And friends they are indeed. They’ve played together before in years past and have always enjoyed it, so much so that Steve put this tour together so they could keep a good thing going. This was just two good buddies playing music and doing what they love.
As stated, Peter Frampton started the night off, and to a bit of a scant crowd, but by the time he was about a third of the way through his amazing set the seats had practically all filled in. Starting off with what seems to be the standard opener for him, Somethings Happening, Frampton took us through a delicious song list that displayed his guitar prowess and gave every fan what they were looking for. This was vintage Frampton and he just looked so happy playing his music. That was evident. The band is as tight as ever as they fluidly wound their way through each number. Peter spoke solemnly of the passing of his friend Chris Cornell. With images of Chris displayed on the huge “Frampton” backdrop, Peter dedicated Black Hole Sun to Cornell’s wife and children. Peter plays this song with so much feel, it was a really nice tribute. Another high point was the guitar duelling of Frampton and his band mate Adam Lester on (I’ll Give You) Money. Awesome job! Of course, all the big hits were played as well, with the crowd usually finishing all the lines and verses right in time. And as is the only right and proper way to end a show, the iconic Do You Feel Like We Do was performed in all it’s glory to close out the set. Amazing.
Steve Miller took the stage right on time and much like the preceding artist, delivered from his library of amazing hits that have also stood the test of time. There is really no flash or wild antics at a show like this. It’s all about the music and having two iconic musicians deliver that music the way they like. There wasn’t a lot of people standing throughout the sets, there were hardly any cell phones being held up making shaky videos. Perhaps that was owing to the demographic. Sure, there were some younger fans in attendance, but the majority would have been fans back in the 70’s and 80’s and typically we just love to go to a show to watch and listen. I say “we” because I too am from that era, and we just don’t want to miss any part of our favourite artists performance because we were looking at our phones. We honour and respect the music. Ok, off my soap box.
Miller played ’em all. Swing town, Take The Money and Run, Fly Like An Eagle, The Joker. It was all there. Steve even brought Peter back out to join him part way through his set. He reminisced about how he and Peter used to play in football stadiums back in the day. This was really cool. It was like to old friends getting together and jamming out some tunes. They ripped some amazing blues starting with Howling Wolf’s Who’s Been Talking and then they traded solos on an Elmore James number. This was so much fun to watch. Again, no gimmicks. Just straight up honest music delivered by a couple of seasoned veterans. And I loved it.
Scott Burns, Tour Bus Entertainment.