The founding member of Humble Pie and iconic 70s solo artist headlined Classic Rock Saturday with John Waite and Dennis DeYoung.
20-May-2016: Festivals have gotten a bad rap recently as organizers have thrown together any bands that have open dates in their schedule regardless to whether the lineup will coalesce. That was not the case, though, as the hard-working staff of the Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival put together a concert bill that entertained the fans from start to finish.
Even though the height of their popularity was in the past, these artists continue to put out new music and don’t tour simply as “oldies” acts. If anything, they’ve learned over the years how to put together a show that engages the fans as well as giving themselves some artistic freedom.
The fit-and-trim John Waite came out first on this beautiful Spring day and immediately showcased his slightly deeper voice on “Saturday Night.” His rich voice is known as one of the most natural sounds in rock.
Drawing from a catalog of 17 albums including The Babys, Bad English, and his solo career, John performed 13 songs that captivated the audience for his entire set. Hits such as “Midnight Rendezvous,” “Catfish Blues,” and “Back On My Feet Again” sounded just as good as when he performed them as the lead singer of The Babys.
Fans loved “When I See You Smile” and “Best Of What I Got” from Bad English. His biggest solo hit, “Missing You,” is always a thrill to hear live. The finale of “Whole Lotta Love” featured his band and let all of them have fun while playing.
John Waite is on the road with the Wooden Heart tour through October.
The overflowing audience knew a singalong was coming when Dennis DeYoung walked on the stage and started playing “The Grand Illusion.” The greatest hits kept coming, and Dennis and his band enjoyed playing “Lady,” “Lorelei” and “Blue Collar Man.”
Dennis, ever the showman, told great stories throughout the evening and danced the Robot to “Mr. Roboto.” Guitarist August Zadra sang a spot-on version of “Too Much Time On My Hands,” while the beach balls came out in the crowd. He brought out Suzanne, his wife of 46 years, for “Babe.” He wrote the very personal lyrics to the 1980 Song of the Year as a present to her.
The precise chords of “Suite Madame Blue” led into a jam session that thrilled the crowd. He explained that if you were in high school and wanting to have sex, you were playing “The Best Of Times.”
They stayed onstage and skipped the requisite clapping for an encore so they could perform an extra song. The audience loved this tidbit of truth and got raucous when they played “Renegade.” It’s driving tone makes it a terrific encore song, especially when extended by several minutes.
Dennis finished with “Come Sail Away,” which got couples dancing anywhere there was room. Its meaningful lyrics and sharp chord change made it worthy of the thunderous applause it got to end their set.
Dennis DeYoung and band are on tour through October of this year.
People pushed, shoved and jostled to the front to see the headliner, Peter Frampton. Introduced simply as “Peter ‘F***ing’ Frampton,” he came out and looked great for 66 years old.
He was in fine voice as he led off with “Something’s Happening,” the opening song from Frampton Comes Alive, still one of the best-selling albums of all-time. An excellent tribute in “Rebel Rebel” to his recently departed friend, David Bowie, was next and was appreciated by the audience. Peter then pulled out the guitar that had been stolen 32 years years ago which he just got back to play the classic “Doobie Wah.”
Fans yelled, “I’m in high school again,” followed by Frampton playing the classic “Show Me The Way.” The extended solos brought out the dancers in the crowd, as did the poignant lyrics for “Lines On My Face.”
The crowd screamed enthusiastically for an instrumental that lasted several minutes. The audience was still jumping around as Dan Wojciechowski laid down a strong drum beat and the guitarists played off each other and had fun for a couple of album-rock songs.
Women swooned, and men sang “Baby I Love Your Way.” The acoustic background highlighted the words to this beautiful song.
Another monster hit, “Do You Feel Like We Do,” was almost drowned out by crowd singing along. Somehow, the fans got even louder for the talk box, and he even kept it G-rated for the parents who brought their kids to teach them what “good music sounds like.” The performers and the members of the audience were demonstrative during the song, after the song and while the fans demanded an encore.
The band came back out quickly and dove right into a rocking version of “Four Day Creep.” In what many audience members later called one of the best concert closing songs any of them had ever heard, Frampton and his bandmates played “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” A personal crowd interaction, powerful lyrics and a talented and tight band made this concert a show to remember.
Peter Frampton is touring with Lynyrd Skynyrd through August.
“Rock and Roll Day” at the 2016 Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival went way over anyone’s expectations. The staff worked extremely hard, and the shows were a tremendous success.
All the entertainers were happy to be there and gave 100% of their abilities during their performances, and it showed to every person in the large crowd. The energy and the passion were there and was reciprocated by the fans.
Be sure to look for all the artists on tour as they will keep you entertained. Kudos to the city of Richardson for their hard work and hospitality.
Joe Guzman was on hand to record the event.