Peter Frampton and Steve Miller on Wednesday, August 15 at the Santa Barbara Bowl

Paul Wellman (file)

Peter Frampton and Steve Miller on Wednesday, August 15 at the Santa Barbara Bowl

Peter Frampton and Steve Miller

Together and Apart, Miller and Frampton Shine at Bowl

If you came to this show hoping for a trip down memory lane arm in arm with two of the top selling artists of the 1970s, you got it — and a whole lot more. Peter Frampton opened with a varied and vigorous set that strayed far from the familiar sounds of Frampton Comes Alive, even in the middle of songs from that album. Frampton is an imaginative, jazz-influenced guitarist and his jams on songs like “(I’ll Give You) Money” and “Lines on My Face” showed how determined he remains to approach things from a fresh perspective.

One of the most exciting things about Steve Miller right now is how effectively he has continued to elaborate on the “space blues” formula he’s been expounding since The Joker and Fly Like an Eagle. When he recorded these hits back in the day, what mattered was the focus and simplicity that would earn them endless amounts of FM airtime. These days, in concert, Miller uses his big hits as launch pads for guitar-based explorations that can verge on Grateful Dead territory. Calling out Peter Frampton for a pair of classic blues covers – Freddie King’s “Same Old Blues” and Elmore James’s “Stranger Blues” – made for an unexpected highlight, with both musicians clearly having a ball performing the music that influenced them before they were famous.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Goleta Library May Expand by Two, or Four If You Count the Twigs

City Council approves fee allocation; goes next to branch library cities.

Foodbank Turkey Drive Suffers from Truck Accident

Nonprofit is trying to replace $145,000 in equipment and food lost in accident last month.

County Eyeing Private Montecito Land to Build New Debris Basin

Supervisors have started the negotiation process with Randall Road parcel owners.

Increase in H2A Farmworkers Raises Housing Concerns

Santa Barbara County supervisors moving to streamline permit process.

Cannabis Taxes Generate $1.8 Million

Santa Barbara County releases first quarterly report.