On July 30, stars will align in Central Oregon for simultaneous events so rare that they can only be compared to prophecies and predictions found in The Singularity, The Cosmogenesis, the Quatrains of Nostradamus, and the I Ching. A day on the calendar so significant it immediately rivals in importance the ending of the Mayan calendar in 2012. OK, maybe none of that is true, but for the first time in about two years (remember the Shins, Matisyahu and the Gourds all playing on one night in 2007?), two major musical acts will be performing on Central Oregon stages on the same night - Peter Frampton at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds and Sugarland at the Les Schwab Amphitheater.
What is a music fan to do? Both are multiplatinum-selling artists, both are backed by bands of musicians that could tour in their own right, and both have songs that, more than likely, at least one member of your household can sing (or at least hum) along to.
The last time Sugarland was slated to play the LSA, we provided a tale of the tape, setting the pop country stars up against outlaw country hero Willie Nelson, who was also playing the LSA that week. Well, Sugarland cancelled (supposedly because of health problems and not because our write up intimidated them out of appearing) so we're bringing the fight back on for what we're calling the Battle for July 30. Here's how this arena rock legend and country music banner carrier measure up:
Frampton: For years, it was rumored that Peter Frampton basically disappeared from the rock 'n' roll landscape because he suffered from stage fright so bad that he could no longer perform in public. In reality, Frampton's career simply was not able to once again measure up to the success he had playing in Humble Pie and with his six-times platinum, still-on-the-radio-everyday live album Frampton Comes Alive!
Sugarland: Founding member Kristin Hall left the group to stay home and write songs just two years after the band took off with its debut release Twice the Speed of Life. However, rumor has it that she was forced out of Sugarland due to her ballooning weight problem and her open lesbian lifestyle, which didn't fit well with the image of an up-and-coming, mainstream country music group.
Ties to Famous Musicians
Frampton: He went to high school with David Bowie, and by the time he was 18 years old, Frampton had musical associations with Bill Wyman, Jerry Lee Lewis, John Entwistle and George Harrison.
Sugarland: During its first two years on the country music map, the group recorded with Jon Bon Jovi and toured the U.S. and Canada with Brad Paisley and Kenny Chesney.
Frampton: Frampton Comes Alive! sold six million copies in the U.S., 16 million worldwide, and is the fourth best-selling live album of all time behind only Garth Brooks' album Double Live, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band Live 1975 - '85, and Eagles Live.
Sugarland: Their 2004 debut single, "Baby Girl," peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and set a record for being on the chart longer than any other song since the inception of Nielson SoundScan in 1990. It was the highest debut single for a group in 13 years. Sugarland had three more top-20 hits from Twice the Speed of Life, and the album ended up selling two million copies.
Advantage: It's a virtual tie
Frampton: He is widely known for using a Talk Box, an effects device that allows a guitar player to alter the sound of the instrument by changing the shape of his or her mouth. The talk box is so-named because it sounds like each note played is being spoken. He is also on the list of Rolling Stone's Top 100 Guitarists of All Time.
Sugarland: Singer Jennifer Nettles doesn't play any instruments. Kristian Bush plays several, including mandolin, acoustic guitar and harmonica.
5pm gates, 6:30pm show. Thursday, July 30. Les Schwab Amphitheater, 344 SW Shevlin Hixon Dr., $36/general admission, $79/reserved. All ages.
7pm Thursday, July 30. Deschutes County Fairgrounds 3800 SW Airport Way. Listen to 98.3FM "The Twins" for free ticket info.