Frampton came alive one last time in Omaha on Saturday night.
At the Orpheum Theater, Peter Frampton performed his iconic live album "Frampton Comes Alive!" from start to finish. It was the last date of his long-running tour celebrating the anniversary of the 1976 record.
Omaha fans were in love, apparently. "I love you, Peter!" one fan yelled, which was followed by another shout of "Omaha loves you, Peter!"
It was a full house at the 2,600-capacity theater for the approximately three-hour show.
Frampton, backed by a four-man band and a trio of Marshall amplifier cabinets, cranked through "Frampton Comes Alive!" in the order of the 2001 deluxe edition of the album, which is slightly different from the original release. The only changes he made to the tracklist were the exclusion of songs exclusive to the deluxe version ("Just the Time of Year" and others) and moving "Do You Feel Like We Do" to the end of the set, probably in an effort to close out with a hit.
The double LP of "Frampton Comes Alive!" originally clocked in at 78:06, but Saturday night's live version went just beyond 110 minutes.
It was Frampton's guitar solos that were to blame, but no one seemed to complain. Songs that originally played at three to five minutes ended up going on for eight to 10. And the originally 14-minute "Do You Feel Like We Do" was at least that long, if not longer.
Frampton's guitar solos were like songs within songs, and he puts as much care into crafting them as any of his pop songs, including "Baby, I Love Your Way."
His guitar work makes his absence on Rolling Stone's most recent list of greatest guitarists rather conspicuous. He's easily one of the best guitarists I've ever seen, and I've seen a good number of the top 100 (that are still living, anyway). How he's not somewhere on there is a letdown.
During the show, Frampton played several guitars including the iconic black Les Paul that he played on "Frampton Comes Alive!" as well as a few acoustic guitars, a hollow body electric and another Les Paul.
Fans loved when he played with his talkbox effect, which is a big part of songs such as "Show Me the Way." The effect made it sound like his guitar was talking, and he used it to ask the crowd questions and later to talk about the old Mutual of Omaha nature specials.
Fans sang along to lines like "Do you — you! — feel like I do" and "Baby, I love your way," and other fans stood in the aisles and shredded air guitars while Frampton played onstage.
Anyone who really loved the show could have taken home a recording at the end of the night. It's a cool concept, and I've bought similar recordings after shows by Metallica and Ben Kweller, among others. But it meant they wouldn't let fans enter the auditorium in the middle of a song. Ushers made fans wait for breaks between songs.
Being able to buy a copy of Saturday's show was great, but making it so you can't actually see the show kind of defeats the purpose.
Frampton did keep things light from time to time, including when he mentioned that we were on side two of "Frampton Comes Alive!" He pantomimed flipping an album over and then smoking a joint, which got giggles.
A lot of laughs came in the middle of "Do You Feel Like We Do." After dozens of photos moved across a video screen behind Frampton, a clip played from the "Homerpalooza" episode of "The Simpsons" that features him. The bit involves him trying to launch an inflatable pig into the crowd by stomping on a pedal labeled "PIG."
A member of Frampton's crew placed a "PIG" pedal onstage and he held it up and said "Where's my pig?" while the video played.
After finishing the "Frampton Comes Alive!" portion of the set, Frampton and his band took a short break and then played more songs including "Asleep at the Wheel," the single from his last album and some instrumental songs from the record "Fingerprints."
Fans poured on the love throughout the night, especially when Frampton called on them during a song. One moment exemplified their feelings. During "Show Me the Way," when Frampton sang "I wonder how you're feelin'," he got a big response: Nothing but applause.
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