50 years ago during a recording session in England Steve Miller and Peter Frampton, who was with Humble Pie at the time, met and instantly became friends. Five decades later Miller and Frampton have come together for one of the best tours this summer. For any guitar fan this is the show to see. The tour started on June 15th at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ and stopped at the Pacific Amphitheater at the O.C. Fair in Costa Mesa, CA August 9th for a night filled of great guitar playing and hits.
Frampton took the stage right at 6:30 with his band and noticed a fan holding a giant posted of him which he joked about. After playing his hit “Show Me The Way,” Frampton performed his new single “I Saved A Bird Today.” Frampton joked about how he “dropped a single, a big 12 inch single” and how the term used to be “released a single.” For this song Frampton sat down with an acoustic guitar and a flock of birds flew over the amphitheater during the song. The next song was Frampton’s cover of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun,” which he told the story of recording with Pearl Jam members and the first time he played it with Chris Cornell. During the song an image of Cornell appeared on the curtain behind the band. Frampton went back to acoustic guitar for “Baby I Love Your Way,” and traded off the words “Don’t hesitate ‘Cause your love won’t wait.”
Frampton brought out his famous black Gibson Les Paul from his “Frampton Comes Alive” album and told the history of it from being used with Humble Pie to solo albums to being in a plane crash and the guitar being returned to him during his 35th anniversary tour of Frampton Comes Alive. Frampton played the guitar one of his biggest hits “Do You Feel Like We Do,” with its legendary talk box solo which has since become part of pop culture as seen in the Simpson's and Family Guy. Frampton’s set lasted an hour 20 minutes.
Steve Miller took the stage after a short changeover playing a total of 22 songs including 4 with Frampton. Uncle Joe Benson from 100.3 the Sound came out before Miller to announce him, and when Miller took the stage he told the story of how him and Frampton first met. Miller played hit after hit starting with “The Stake,” and after the 5th song “Take the Money and Run,” Frampton joined in for four blues classics from K.C. Douglas, Otis Rush, Muddy Waters, and Elmore James. On Otis Rush’s “All Your Lovin’” Miller added a bit of the James Bond theme.
Miller went back into hit after hit with “Dance Dance Dance,” and on “Wild Mountain Honey,” told the story of how he bought an electric sitar which was used on the song. Miller ended with “Rock N’ Me,” For the encore Miller played “Jungle Love” and “Threshold/Jet Airliner.”
Photos and text by Alex Kluft