In 1993, I saw Frankie Valli perform for the first time, and I was blown away. Somehow, over twenty years later, he managed to top that previous performance, January 30 at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. At the age of 81, Frankie Valli is still delivering an unparalleled performance, and commanding the stage in a manner that rivals musicians half his age.
The show opened with a video montage chronicling highlights from more than 50 years of chart-topping tracks and stellar showmanship from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Longevity was the focus, and this is a concept that few master so gracefully.
“Grease” began to pierce the air as Valli hit the stage, along with an ensemble of thirteen accompanying musicians and singers to form a troupe of talent that tickled the senses and enveloped the building. From there, the hits kept coming in steady succession. From an a cappella introduced “Sherry” to the Sinatra-inspired “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”, the notes were as flawless as the steps. It surpassed a mere concert – becoming a full-fledged, high-performance stage show – with every player feeding off each other’s vibrant energies.
Aside from a broad span of original hits (with the Four Seasons, as well as solo), Valli paid tribute to some of his favorites through a medley of covers from his 2007 release, Romancing the ’60s. The selections included “Spanish Harlem” (Ben E. King), “Let it Be Me” (The Everly Brothers), “My Girl” (Temptations) and “Groovin'” (The Young Rascals).
The show was two non-stop hours of fun. I don’t think I stopped smiling for a moment. Even the very stiff-seeming gentleman sitting next to me was enthusiastically singing and dancing by the time “Walk Like a Man” kicked in. Frankie Valli has always been infectious, and there wasn’t a weak link on that stage.
Without the crutch of gimmicks, dramatics and technologically-powered audio stylings, Valli has proven to be the genuine article – relying on pure, natural talent. And when you’re this good, that’s really all you need to become a legend.