Written by David Clements
This Thursday night at The Woodlands Pavilion marked the ‘restart’ of the Peter Frampton/Lynyrd Skynyrd World Tour. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Gary Rossington had experienced a heart attack back in October of this past year and as you would expect that put the brakes on the tour. Fortunately for us he recovered sufficiently for the band to get back on the road and head to The Woodlands Texas!
The performance was surprisingly good and made me feel sorry for the ticket holding fans in the cities where shows were cancelled. Hopefully for them, those dates will be made up in the future. There was no sign of tentativeness or lost enthusiasm in the show. If anything, the feeling was ‘rested and ready’!
Having said that it remains unclear to me why these two acts, Frampton and LS, are co-headlining together. They just seem like a misfit to me…but what do I know? They both deliver a great sound that’s uniquely their own. Still I don’t see any Southern Rock connection to Peter Frampton.
Frampton opened the festivities while the sun was still beating down on the near 100 degree evening. He did not seem the least bit bothered by these conditions that, frankly, were kicking my butt! He started with Something’s Happening and didn’t stop until he had completely thrilled his fans by playing all of his hits and an awesome rendition of George Harrison’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps as an encore.
Peter bought in a stout group of musicians to back him up and although all looked many years his junior that sure seemed to ‘fit’ tightly together.
The only negative critique I have is that several of the songs in Frampton’s set list seemed to go on a little too long. It just seemed like they were ‘killing time’ versus having ‘no time to kill’. Maybe his fans didn’t mind and it might have just been me but I found myself thinking this at least two or three times. And by the way, I had NO such thoughts during the Lynyrd Skynyrd set that followed!
LS started their set with Workin’ for MCA, then What’s Your Name, followed by You Got That Right and crowd pleasing Saturday Night Special. For me personally, and it appeared the same for this very enthusiastic crowd, listening to the final three songs was the highlight of the evening. They gave us Gimme Three Steps, Call Me the Breeze, and Sweet Home Alabama. Then, of course, the iconic rock anthem Free Bird as their encore.
I can’t think of another band out there who is as consistently terrific performing live. They drive their audience throughout the show, nonstop from beginning to end. They’ve been at it for many years now, yet I saw no evidence on this night of any slowing down!
Until next time, I hope you keep it between the navigational beacons.