June 21, 2017 Steve Miller Band & Peter Frampton Capture Jones Beach, NY 6-17-17
The dynamic musical duo of Steve Miller Band and Peter Frampton are out and about rocking the American landscape from sea to shining sea with concert tours dates that span the entire summer. These seasoned musicians have joined forces to electrify audiences everywhere with their unique brand of guitar play as well as vocals, and of course, classic tunes.
How this collaboration all came about was a simple question posed by Steve Miller to Peter Frampton – How about jamming with me? The rest is, as they say, history. That in mind, the raw talent and creative genius of these two men are unparalleled. Their easygoing camaraderie forged decades ago in London has withstood the passage of time, as has their distinctive music style which continues to shower crowds with musical nectar. In fact, they have an ongoing admiration of the musical talents of one another. This mutual admiration fuels their drive to raise the creative bar so that they continually challenge themselves as they tap into their inner musical muse.
As mentioned, their music is timeless Rock-n-Roll, and the number of albums along with Billboard hits hitched under each one of their belts is staggering. Also attaining a mass of achievement awards, even though they are living legends and have already impacted music history many times over, Miller and Frampton refuse to hang up their beloved guitars on a wall to gather dust and they show no signs of slowing down. So much for retirement!
Anyhow, it is crystal clear that their musical careers are far, far from over. Frampton, a Grammy winner, has taken his classic hits out of the closet, dusted them off, and gave them a fresh acoustical coat of paint on his latest album, 2016’s Acoustic Classics, a release which has received rave reviews all around. Miller does not fall far behind Frampton with his long overdue induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 2016.
Only the second night of the tour, Steve Miller Band and Peter Frampton launched an acoustical fireball over Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, New York on Saturday, June 17th. An unpredictable night, these two were no strangers to working in all kinds of weather and they were more than ready and willing to deliver a memorable performance regardless. On the other side of the coin, there was no amount of rain that was going to dampen the spirits of this ready to rock crowd.
Concertgoers on hand from all over were clad in rain ponchos or sporting an umbrella. They were here for a concert of a lifetime and, by George, they were going to get one, and no downpour was going to cheat them out of it. There was an eclectic feel to the crowd, they came from all walks of life and spanned several generations. Parents and grandparents gifted this musical experience as a family heirloom to be treasured by the younger generations who did not have the privilege to have been around when these icons first began touring.
No fidget spinners were needed here. The stadium pulsated with electricity as the stagehands worked in tandem to position the instrumentals with precision for optimal sound. To ensure complete visibility to the goings on onstage from all angles, the stage was sandwiched between two large widescreens. Then, in a matter of minutes, the banner with the Frampton logo was hoisted and on display for all to see. With the rain coming down rather heavily, soon after, Frampton came onstage and tossed out a few ice breakers to the crowd by sharing anecdotes of his early Rock career and how he met Steve Miller for the first time.
From there he began to play his lineup of memorable songs which brought many of those present skipping along memory lane. Among the favorites, “Show Me The Way” brought many to their feet in droves and had them swaying to the uplifting beat of the love ballad. Another, “Baby, I Love Your Way,” had all the ladies swooning with the melodic entreaties of Frampton’s soulful vocals as they wafted from the mic like a full-blown kiss. No one was immune to this love ballad as it brought back memories of that first puppy love.
Also offering deeper tracks, as well as some surprises, Frampton jammed out tracks like “Lines On My Face,” “(I’ll Give You) Money,” newer song ” I Saved a Bird Today,” and honoring the late Chris Cornell, his cover of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun.” Wrapping up with “Do You Feel Like We Do” and a cover of Ida Cox Blues classic “Four Day Creep,” once he was done weaving his magic over the crowd, he did the introduction for The Steve Miller Band. A fantastic set, Peter Frampton left the stage with a thunderous applause of appreciation in his wake.
Now with the rain settling down some, the stagehands once again transformed the platform and the magical rainbow winged Pegasus in flight graced the stage. As the band members – Gordy Knudtson (drums), Kenny Lee Lewis (guitar/bass/vocals), Jacob Petersen (guitar), as well as Joseph Wooten (keyboards) – strode onstage, you could hear the hoots and cheers of the crowds. Once it died down, Steve Miller and his talented band deftly navigated the setlist with sprinkles of humor and chunks of information in between songs.
They began with “The Stake,” which was deftly rendered. This was followed with “Swingtown” that was enthusiastically received by the crowd before crowd pleaser “Abracadabra” was sung with gusto and vibrated with high voltage energy. A quick glance around and one observed individuals singing along, clapping to the mesmerizing beat, and intermittent fist pumps. From there, Miller then bantered a bit with the crowd, asking them how they felt this evening, to which there was a resounding “great!” He then dedicated the next song, “Living in the U.S.A.,” to all the men and women in the armed forces. This bluesy guitar strumming piece complete with harmonics sailed off without a hitch and had the audience singing, swaying, and clapping along with the upbeat tempo.
Later came “Take the Money and Run,” which detailed the exploits of a couple with too much time on their hands. Sultry vocals were accompanied by a bluesy percussion. A big surprise to fans, Miller reintroduced Peter Frampton and together they belted out an outstanding acoustical rendition of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Who’s Been Talking?” and Elmore James’ “Stranger Blues.” A delight to see the two together on stage, the music kept coming with “Dance, Dance, Dance,” which wowed the audience and was given a round of appreciation.
From there, it was a journey of classic tune after classic tune and everyone was in the spirit of “Rock’n Me” with many in the crowd joined in the vocals! Equally exciting, “Space Cowboy” was a favorite that was a relaxed and playful piece that brought back the psychedelic vibe of the ’70s. The wailing of the guitar strings and the harmonics brought a levity that chases away the blues. Other songs like “The Joker” and “Fly Like an Eagle” had heads performing bobble head maneuvers. The familiar words, “Time keeps slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future/I want to fly like an Eagle” to this day, are quite deep – depicting the mindset of highly ambitious venture of ridding the world of poverty. This in mind, fly right into the future is very prophetic, and little did Miller know that he would eventually get there.
Quite the lengthy performance, the band regaled the crowd with a three-song encore – “Jungle Love,” “Threshold,” and “Jetliner.” After it was all said and done, everyone came away with a feeling of having had a reunion with a good friend who they had not seen in years. They left with a sense of well being, having had the ability to forget about worries and life’s problems for a few hours, thus regain their carefree nature. So shake a leg and “Fly like an Eagle” to see their next show now through August 12th, it is an auditory treat not to be missed and will be a keepsake for years to come.