Frampton @ The Stone Pony = FAIL

The weather in Asbury Park was perfect. The company was great. The guitars were screaming. Peter Frampton was putting on a wonderful show… and then there were technical difficulties…

Wait, I am getting ahead of myself, let’s backtrack a few years. In 2005 I tried to see Mr. Frampton live. The show was canceled, and subsequently postponed to a time where I was out of town. Since then, I have tried to see him play each time he has come within 100 miles of me, and each time I have been unable to make it for one reason or another… In case you couldn’t tell, I’m a fan of Peter Frampton, and I have been waiting a long time to see him play.

So, the show was on, and Frampton was great; he’s a guitar playing monster. His attack on solos is vicious yet beautiful, and his stage presence is equally aggressive, yet dignified. His band was on, he was clearly having a blast, and it reflected in the quality of his music. He was playing a nice mix of old and new, fan favorites and obscure new songs for the real fans… That became clear when he mentioned playing material from his Fingerprints album, and the response was cheers and clapping from a small portion of the audience (for the record, I shouted loudly).

He played a slightly edgier rendition of Show Me the Way, and killed on the instrumental, Boot it Up. Then sent my mind wandering with a beautiful performance of Lines On My Face. My only real complaint was that the acoustics were too bassy, but that seems like a recurring issue at the Stone Pony (among many other venues).

They had my attention completely. I was entranced and enthralled, sucked into their music in a way that only the best performers can achieve. Then Frampton announced that he was going to do his instrumental cover of Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun; I was so insanely happy. Every once in a while a band will play a song that you desperately want to hear, but don’t actually think they will play. This was one of those moments.

A few bars in, he suddenly stopped playing, and waved off the band. Something was wrong, but I honestly couldn’t tell what it was. The roadies were hard at work trying to fix his guitar rig while the audience watched a dark stage. After a while Frampton remarked, “Fucking computers!” and began playing an acoustic song (I can’t even remember what he played). After he finished, the stage went dark for a few minutes.

When he started playing again, one thing was clear; Peter Frampton was mad as hell. He played with a rage that is usually reserved for angsty teenagers. The rage served him well on Money, (I’ll Give You), where he swapped solos with guitarist Adam Lester; the back and fourth was wonderful. The rage wasn’t so great on Do You Feel Like We Do, but it’s such a classic anthem that no one cared.

After finishing Do You Feel Like We Do, he gave his guitar to his roadie and bolted off stage, never to return. The time was about 9:30, and he was scheduled to play until at least 10:15. He didn’t say a word to the audience about leaving. No “thank you.” No “I’m sorry that we had technical difficulties, I wish I could have given you more this evening.”

Nothing.

The man stormed off like a child. Worse still, it took about 15 minutes for anyone to step up to the mic and tell the audience that there would be no encore. I had already left because it was clear as day that the amps were off and the roadies were taking things apart, but I heard the announcement on the PA as I walked to my car.

Mr. Frampton, your audience did nothing wrong. There was no reason to act like a prima donna, and treat your fans with such disrespect. You are supposed to be a world class performer. You could have found a way to continue entertaining your fans, but you chose not to. You could have finished the show with a different set list, or done acoustic renditions of your songs. It wouldn’t have been the show you had planed, but it would have been memorable for being so different. Instead, I will remember this show because you were a selfish asshole (Example: Jordan Rudess after his keyboard broke during a Liquid Tension Experiment show in Chicago).

All you would have had to do was man up and apologize. I would have been disappointed, but I wouldn’t be pissed off.

29 thoughts on “Frampton @ The Stone Pony = FAIL

  1. I have been a fan for over 35 yrs. and was extremely diasppointed by the childish behavior of this rock icon. GROW UP! The audience was having a great time and couldn’t have cared less about the “technical difficulty” which no one even noticed, not even his crew.

  2. I emailed a complaint to the Frampton.com website. This is their response:
    “We apologize for the shortness of Mr. Frampton’s show last night. His
    guitar rig went down and he couldn’t finish his normal show. He is very
    upset as he has been playing over 2 hours a night on this tour. We
    actually had to move a show earlier in the tour as the rig got wet at an
    outdoor show and had to be taken apart and fixed. Obviously, it is still
    damaged.”

    This was my reply:
    “He is very upset? How about the fans. He should have said something to the
    audience before storming off the stage. Noone in that audience noticed any
    technical issues. In fact, it didn’t appear that the crew noticed either. I
    paid 54.50 for 4 tickets on Live Nation and am extremely disappointed. This
    is not the way a rock icon should behave. A professional goes on with the
    show, no matter what. Furthermore, this is not going to help him with the
    promotion of his new record.”

  3. Thanks for sharing Dave.

    As I’m sure you can surmise, I completely agree with your response.

    I also sent an email via Frampton’s website last night (I included a link to this post). I have yet to hear back from them, but I shall share what they say if/when they get back to me.

  4. But wait….We
    actually had to move a show earlier in the tour as the rig got wet at an
    outdoor show and had to be taken apart and fixed.

    How long has Frampton been playing?? Was this his first outdoor gig? No one had the foresight to look ahead and thing something might get wet and take proper protective action?

    Well, Stryper plays the Pony on September 19th. Maybe you guys will get Live Nation tickets to that show and can see how TRUE rock icons act. ;-)

  5. Unfortunately, last night my guitar equipment went off and the backup system
    didn’t work either. I feel very bad that we were not able to do an encore. On this
    tour we have been doing 2 hours plus a night depending on curfew
    situations. Every show I do is the most important show!! But, I know there are many true fans out there who are very disappointed about last night’s show. Playing live for me is a passion with which I was born. To say that I feel worse than anyone there last night is a huge understatement.
    Wishing to make things right. An announcement will be made tomorrow regarding a return appearance.

    Peter Frampton

  6. I received the following response from the Frampton website. You can decide on the validity of who actually wrote this:
    “Unfortunately, last night my guitar equipment went off and the backup system
    didn’t work either. I feel very bad that we were not able to do an encore.On this
    tour we have been doing 2 hours plus a night depending on curfew
    situations. Every show I do is the most important show!! But, I know there
    are many true fans out there who are very disappointed about last night’s
    show. Playing live for me is a passion with which I was born. To say that
    I feel worse than anyone there last night is a huge understatement.
    Wishing to make things right. An announcement will be made tomorrow
    regarding a return appearance.”

    Peter Frampton

  7. That was a top-notch communication eh?

    Based on the IP address from which that comment was left, the current location of Frampton (according to his tour schedule), and the impersonal nature of the reply, I am going to guess that that was not Mr. Frampton. However, I will keep from hoping onto another soapbox until I see his response tomorrow.

  8. really dave? about the refund?
    just show my ticket at the stone pony and i will be refunded?
    thank you very much for this post and for all the information!

  9. Not quite. I emailed them that I wanted a refund. They recently responded that they will submit my request to the venue. Apparently any refund of replacement is being handle by the Pony. If you purchased through Live Nation, I guess they act on your behalf. If you purchased at the Pony, you need to contact them.

  10. i was at the show as well. you have captured my sentiments exactly. I also sent an e-mail to frampton .com and received the same form response. still waiting for the “announcement.” very poor form indeed.

  11. Regrettably, Peter Frampton will not be rescheduling his Asbury Park, NJ Stone Pony engagement.
    Rest assured best efforts will be used to return to the area in 2010.
    We are deeply sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused his fans.

  12. Yup. That was an awesome display of relationship management.

    I gave him the benefit of the doubt and he failed to live up to expectations… just like his show.

    Peter Frampton has no respect for his fans and no class.

  13. I received a letter from Live Nation. They are offering me admission to a “mutually agreeable, subject to artist approval” Live Nation promoted performance at 8 different NY/NJ venues including PNC and the Pony. I guess it’s better than nothing.

  14. So…looks who’s back for Round Two. Is anyone going to go? I’m on the fence. I mean come on…a Monday night? Couldn’t do any better??

    At the Stone Pony….

    Monday, August 9

    Peter Frampton

    FREE SHOW!

    Doors at 6:30 pm
    Showtime 8 pm
    “Come see me play the longest show of my tour. This is the least I can do for you guys who were there last year and I can only hope you will come back. I can promise you this, it will be a fun, long night of music old and new!” – Peter Frampton
    ALL AGES ADMITTED
    21 TO DRINK (IN BAR AREA)

  15. Laura, I just spotted that announcement on the Stone Pony website about two minutes ago.

    “This is the least I can do for you guys who were there last year…” Yeah, I agree.

    I’m on the fence about it as well. Monday night is pretty crappy. If I have nothing else to do, and am feeling motivated to deal with the long drive down to Asbury Park I might go and give him a shot at partially redeeming himself.

    Either way, Frampton is an unprofessional brat, and I won’t be giving him a dime in the future.

    Now Southside Johnny on the other hand is playing the Pony this Friday, and I will be there for that show. He’s a great performer and a true professional.

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