Peter Frampton’s demeanor is unassuming, but his technique is still masterful.
At Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Tuesday night, the guitar maestro chatted amiably with the crowd that filled about three-quarters of the venue and displayed his still-potent chops – both guitar and vocal.
Opening with “Something’s Happening,” Frampton and his solid four-piece band offered a sinewy take on David Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel” and, from his first solo album in 1972, “It’s a Plain Shame.”
That song, like most that he played during his career-spanning set, hails from a studio album but was part of his seminal 1976 record, “Frampton Comes Alive!”, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
“It’s very nice of you all to come out, otherwise it would be very lonely up here,” Frampton joked early in the show.
He segued into what he called a favorite song, one “about a breakup of massive proportions…I’ve heard people say they can relate to it.”
With that came the wistful guitar cries of “Lines on My Face,” a song that also proved that Frampton can still tear out a solo with legs firmly planted and mouth agape.
The bright opening and first sounds of the famed Frampton talk box signaled “Show Me the Way” and catapulted fans to their feet.
Along with the ‘70s classics, the master musician treated the crowd to a few dazzling instrumental selections from his 2006 album, “Fingerprints,” which earned him his first-ever Grammy Award.
Frampton also employed a novel way to placate the concert distractors and their cell phones. In a pre-show message — as well as on signs inside the venue — he told fans they were welcome to take as many photos as they wanted during the first three songs of the set (the same as credentialed media), but to then put their phones away so they could experience the concert “in the moment.”
One can only hope other artists follow his lead.
Here are some scenes from his Atlanta concert.