Peter Frampton – Live in Detroit (2013)

You may be asking yourself: Another live Peter Frampton? Already? I know I was. But there is at least one good reason for this one, beyond the snazzy 5.1 Surround Sound, and yet another interaction of all of the hits. His name is Bob Mayo.

Yes, Frampton just released FCA! 35, a DVD/CD set commemorating the Frampton Comes Alive! anniversary tour — and also on Eagle Rock, no less — but, unlike this 1999 date at Detroit’s Pine Knob Amphitheatre, Mayo wasn’t on board for that tour.

The underrated keyboardist, best remembered for his turn on “Do You Feel Like We Do” (and Frampton’s tip of the hat: “Bob Mayo on the keyboards — Bob Mayo!”) died back in 2004 — actually suffering a heart attack while on tour with the guitarist he helped make famous.

So, forgive me if I started out by skipping past the title track from 1974’s Somethin’s Happening, “Nassau” and the instrumental “Penny for Your Thoughts” from the 1975 album Frampton, more recent tracks like “Lying” and “Can’t Take That Away,” older stuff like “I Don’t Need No Doctor” from Frampton’s Humble Pie days, and new takes on the FCA! favorites “Baby, I Love You Way,” “Lines on My Face” and “Show Me The Way.”

Actually, I didn’t just fast forward to “Do You Feel the Way We Do?,” I went right to the portion of the song where Frampton was about to hand it over to Mayo. I had to hear what he would do with that space, nearly 25 years later. Well, some idiot kid runs on stage, briefly distracting Frampton. There’s a moment, though, when Mayo locks in on Frampton and their brotherhood is made utterly real. They are having, it’s quite clear, the time of their lives.

Then Mayo does something so utterly cool: He starts swinging his ass off. Drummer Chad Cromwell and bassist John Regan quickly catch the groove, and “Do You Feel The Way We Do” is transformed, as quickly as that college kid streaked across the stage, into a barrelhouse romp. It’s all the proof you need that Mayo — who made contributions beyond 1976’s iconic Frampton Comes Alive!, also appearing on 1977’s I’m In You and 1979’s Where I Should Be — should have been known for more than one solo on one song.

Live in Detroit, due on March 26, 2013, goes on to feature a new interview with Frampton, and a previously unseen rehearsal of “Boot It Up” from the FCA! 35 tour. But, for me, this one was all about “Bob Mayo on the keyboards — Bob Mayo” — and, man, did he deliver.

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Nick DeRiso

Over a 30-year career, Nick DeRiso has also explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz, Ultimate Classic Rock and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Contact him at nderiso@somethingelsereviews.com.