The only thing I knew with certainty about going to see Peter Frampton in concert was that I didn't really know what to expect. I'm used to going to dive bars, arenas, or clubs to see bands live. But the Cerritos Center For The Performing Arts is a very chi-chi kind of place which doesn't seem to me like a very friendly atmosphere for an evening of rock music. Also, Frampton's newest release Fingerprints is all instrumental tracks so I wasn't sure what he would play live this time around. But instead of researching it before hand, I figured I'd just go with the flow and see what would happen.
The Center is quite upscale indeed, with roaring fires and ambient lighting in the lobby area. The room with the stage is well appointed too, with comfy seats and private viewing boxes mounted on both sides reaching from the floor to the ceiling. The crowd was dressed in their Saturday night going out on the town best... even the kids that attended with their parents were bright and shiny. These were definitely not my (average) rock and roll people.
But then the lights went down, Peter Frampton came out on stage, and all the trappings slipped away as he and his bandmates put on a (nearly two hour) show that rocked the house. Quiet and unassuming as he may look today should you pass him on the street, put a guitar in this man's hands and everything is transformed into an extraordinary experience. He was warm and friendly with the audience and chatty as well. To start, he told us, "I'm gonna do stuff from my vinyl era." And that he did.
His first song was a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours," a concert standard for him and a subtle hint that we were as important to the show as he and the rest of the band were. It was a very upbeat beginning and I dug it, but not the fact that this is a sit-down kind of venue and not the stand up and dance around type.
Next he announced that they (the band) would do something that hadn't been done before. He said they'd put it together with a hum and a whistle and to please bear with them while they figured out which key to use. Typical self-effacing Brit humor in play here, he stepped over to the voice box microphone as the opening notes of "Show Me The Way" began. If you only know one of his songs, this is probably it. And everyone there definitely did and sang along with gusto.