This farewell would be his official goodbye for his final performance in Chicago. While it was not the same crowd from 1977 at Soldier Field, he provided that same music passion he does every time you see him. Rewind backward to February 2019, Frampton stated in a Rolling Stone interview he began feeling a tightness in his ankles back in 2011. While he figured the stiffness was just "aging," other incidents led him to see a neurologist where he received a final prognosis that he had inclusion-body mitosis.
While the secret remained between his family, bandmates, and himself, it officially reached a point where it needed to be addressed: for the crew, for fans, for his piece-of-mind. The day he announced his finale tour of 2019, I read in shock. My father and I have seen shows together since April of 2007.
Before we knew it, dad's 60th was here, and the night arrived – our last time seeing Frampton together. While my emotions were mixed, dad and I experienced this on a high note, celebrating his 60th birthday, a significant milestone in his life and fatherhood of my family.
A quick little promo here, Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Evening is an unreal band. If you enjoy any music of Led Zeppelin, I can't suggest ENOUGH to go see this group, if the opportunity permits itself. The band's authenticity and detail to body gestures, vocals, and tuning, are beyond belief – phenomenal.
Frampton's show starts with a five-minute warning featuring "Rocksteady" by Aretha Franklin. The song blares through the speakers – the band's cue to get out of their trailers and get by side stage for their grand entrance. That "warning" song has been playing since as long as I can remember with Frampton. Following that, a presentation of images, video clips, promos, and the likes of Frampton and his entire career ensue, ending with a clip of David Bowie introducing "Mr. Peter Frampton!"
A roaring crow, everyone one their feet, many clapping, and the drums begin their intro to "Something's Happening," the nostalgic introduction "Frampton Comes Alive," from 1976. Right after, the band transitions smoothly into "Lying," another classic from the 1980s, and "Lines on My Face."
One massive difference of this show from the prior 12 years is Peter's connection and story-telling with the crowd. He had a lot to share more than he ever did in previous shows. Stories included his tributes of the show (Bob Mayo, Chris Cornell, Steve Marriot, and John Siomos); to the story of saving a bird; and why this tour means so much to him. Crowd favorites such as "Do You Feel Like We Do," "Show Me the Way," "Baby I Love Your Way," and his instrumental of "Black Hole Sun" received spectacular ovation and participation from every corner of the concert grounds.
Seeing Frampton hold his heart, smile to the audience, and walk off the stage one last time is something I'll never forget. And I was there with the person who showed me the music 12 years ago – Happy 60th Birthday, dad.