Peter Frampton & The Steve Miller Band – Flashback to the 1970’s: The Boys Still Got It


A crowd of thousands gathered to hear the 1970’s flashback stylings of Peter Frampton and the Steve Miller Band who rocked and rolled through MECU Pavilion in Baltimore on June 24. 

Fans gathered beneath the pavilion as dark rainstorm clouds moved overhead, threatening the evening’s performance and pushing the music back by a half an hour. Despite this, the crowd felt laid-back and light, almost like a reunion as gusts of summer storm winds blustered through the pavilion. The crowd stuck together with a feeling a familiarity.

By 7:30 p.m., the clouds cleared and the sun peaked through the gray sky that hung over the harbor. As Frampton walked on stage and played his first welcoming notes, a rainbow formed overhead, perhaps signifying the magical reunion of two strong musical acts and their fans.

Those fans yelled and stood to welcome Frampton as he played his first song, a mellow tune, reminding fans young and old of what great rock and roll sounds like. 


His band was comprised of a keyboard, a switch between an acoustic and electric guitar, an electric bass, drums and of course, electric guitar played by Frampton. Frampton played his cool guitar stylings and diddled with a cool soulful intro into his third song, a slow soulful ballad, “Lines on my Face,” with sweet guitar melodies that showcased Frampton’s voice—which has aged well—and his guitar playing that has only seasoned to perfection.

Frampton lead the band and the audience into his hit “Show Me the Way,” and as soon as he strummed the first intro notes to the song, the whole crowd rushed to stand and yell, just as if it were 1971. The crowd sang along and yelled when Frampton brought back the “talk box,” for which he is so well known and loved. 

When the song ended, the crowd took their seats and and gazed at Frampton adoringly as he spoke about his new album, “Fingerprints,” with recordings from the Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam and Warren Haynes. He spoke of his two grammy nominees for instrumental album of the year before breaking into an epic, rock heavy rendition of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun,” which he dedicated to his wife and two children. The song was a head rocker—to say the least—and filled with “wahs” and a deep soulful hollow sound. Frampton sang on the talk box for that one too that had the crowd cheering, smiling and throwing their arms high in the air. 

Next, Frampton rocked out heavy to “I’ll Give You Money,” where it was evident to new fans that Frampton gets pleasure from making his guitar sing. He tore into an epic guitar face-off with his supporting guitarist which was a demonstration of the absolutely sexy talent Frampton has as he lead the audience into a wonderfully windy world of jam. While some audience members were amped on the amazingly intense sound before them, others were non-reactive as they stood in absolute awe of the spectacle in front of them. 

 Despite such a large crowd, Frampton and his band made the audience feel united like a small group of friends. His set felt like an inside look at a private rehearsal as Frampton was very warm, laid back and personable.

 As the sun grew closer to setting, a pink, orange and purple sky painted the backdrop for the venue. Frampton shared the writing of one of his songs while in the Bahamas just before he broke into “Baby I Love Your Way.” Every member of the audience stood and sang word for word and swayed to the melodic island sounds—it was as if the entire crowd was just transported to the very moment he wrote the song. When he sang the lyrics, “I can see the sunset in your eyes,” the sun set over the Baltimore Harbor. It was a truly magical moment and the crowd could feel it. 

After, Frampton pulled out a guitar that he claimed had been missing for 30 years until recently. He got the crowd really rilled up when he said, “It ain’t pretty, but it plays good.” He proceeded to play the guitar with a real jazzy intro of “Do You Feel Like I Do.” The whole crowd stood to enjoy a really gnarly keyboard solo. Frampton teased the audience with an epic talk box solo where he really tripped out the crowd as an indigo spotlight shone on him and he said things like, “You make me feel good, you really do,” and it made the audience question where the hell they had just been transported. It was a really great way to end the set. 

 Steve Miller Band’s stage was absolutely far out with an outer space feel. An image of Earth in space with debris flying at it set the stage backdrop. The backdrop even lit up with multicolored lights. On top of that, the stage was laid out like a scene from star trek with a very spacey dashboard keyboard setup.

 The Steve Miller Band flew right on stage and took the audience for a ride, from hit to hit, as the band glided right into “Abracadabra,” with an updated 1980’s sound and fun laser sounds that had the audience standing and dancing.

 Steve Miller pulled out the harmonica for the real bluesy fast track, “Living in the U.S.A.” that included a lot of scatting and a strong guitar before the band lead into an updated rendition of “The Joker.” The crowd quickly stood for “Take the Money and Run,” and the crowd greatly appreciated when the keyboardist banged and jammed heavy on the keys for his solo. 

Frampton and Miller joined the stage together to play an amplified blues song which the crowd enjoyed from their seats. 

After Steve Miller band got the whole crowd clapping along to “Dance, Dance, Dance,” that also included a giant keyboard mash up. The band played a song from the album “Living in the 20th Century,” called “I Want to Make the World Turn Around,” with a real spacey intro with hard rock covers and layers and echoy tones that were absolutely triptastic. The jams felt absolutely eternal and in universal alignment and it felt as if something much deeper were happening. A moment of pure clarity came over the crowd before taking them back into an absolutely unbelievable jam. The moment was very magical, especially as Venus, the star planet, shone bright in the sky above, peaking through the pavilion.

 

The audience slid into more hits as the band played a real desert native and dreamy favorite, “Wild Mountain Honey,” that was played with a guitar pedal that sounded like a sitar. It was like a flashback to the 1970’s. Next, Miller pulled out a beautiful glittery blue guitar thats seemed to match his personality for “Space Cowboy.” Then came “Rockin’ Me Baby,” and “Fly Like an Eagle,” which the whole crowd must have waited the whole night for as they stood and sang word for word. The set closed with a really fun “Jungle Love,” and the set ender was “Jet Airliner,” the perfect closer to a true 1970’s flashback.




 The Steve Miller Band flew right on stage and took the audience for a ride, from hit to hit, as the band glided right into “Abracadabra,” with an updated 1980’s sound and fun laser sounds that had the audience standing and dancing.


Frampton and Miller joined the stage together to play an amplified blues song which the crowd enjoyed from their seats. 

After Steve Miller band got the whole crowd clapping along to “Dance, Dance, Dance,” that also included a giant keyboard mash up. The band played a song from the album “Living in the 20th Century,” called “I Want to Make the World Turn Around,” with a real spacey intro with hard rock covers and layers and echoy tones that were absolutely triptastic. The jams felt absolutely eternal and in universal alignment and it felt as if something much deeper were happening. A moment of pure clarity came over the crowd before taking them back into an absolutely unbelievable jam. The moment was very magical, especially as Venus, the star planet, shone bright in the sky above, peaking through the pavilion.

 

The audience slid into more hits as the band played a real desert native and dreamy favorite, “Wild Mountain Honey,” that was played with a guitar pedal that sounded like a sitar. It was like a flashback to the 1970’s. Next, Miller pulled out a beautiful glittery blue guitar thats seemed to match his personality for “Space Cowboy.” Then came “Rockin’ Me Baby,” and “Fly Like an Eagle,” which the whole crowd must have waited the whole night for as they stood and sang word for word. The set closed with a really fun “Jungle Love,” and the set ender was “Jet Airliner,” the perfect closer to a true 1970’s flashback.

Peter Frampton

Steve Miller

Steve Miller

Steve Miller Band

Steve Miller Band

Enjoy photos by our photographer Chris Gamber of Chris Gamber Photography.

About the author
Annette Arceneaux

Annette Arceneaux

Annette Arceneaux is a journalist and music reporter based in Baltimore. She has always been a rock and roll fan, but her passion for music really stirred after she was forced to listen to Phish and then slowly grew to love them. Since then, the music scene has been her safe haven and getaway. She now combines her love of writing with her love of the scene to give back to the music community that gives her so much.