Sunday, August 23, 2015

Oh What A Night! Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons ~ 8/5/15

When we heard they were coming to Grand Rapids we were hesitant about attending. How old is he anyway? But people who saw him recently attested to a quality performance so we bought in. And how right they were.

We gathered for dinner before the concert at Riverhouse in Ada ~ 8 Four Seasons fans who grew up with their music.
Arriving minutes before the show, we had time for a few goofy pics (notice everyone behind us on their phones) :-)
And then the band started appearing on stage: brass, guitars, drummer, and the new young versions of the Four Seasons. The audience went wild when a very small man walked out and the entire band started in on the "Grease" theme song. It was Frankie Valli, still hitting those high notes.
The new Four Seasons are amazing with their sweet voices, dancing moves, and Temptations-like choreography!
During "Swearin' to God," Frankie and the Seasons moved off the stage while the instrumentalists continued. After a few minutes they returned, and Frankie was in a different jacket.
Patter was a little stilted but we really didn't care because we were there for the music and to see this legend. He told a story about going to see Frank Sinatra as a kid and how he never saw so many women in one place throwing their underwear and hotel keys on the stage. Then he looked around ~ pause for hilarious effect.
At one point he said "we're going to slow it down a bit...because I need to." He then moved into a beautiful rendition of "My Eyes Adored You." At another time he said "we're going back to the 60's, 1460 ~ is that too far?" Not that funny but whatever. He went on to discuss a new CD recently produced that had the group singing other people's songs from the 60's. "Spanish Harlem", "Let It Be Me", and a medley of "My Girl" and "Groovin' " were ok but we wanted to hear Four Seasons music. And "Silence is Golden" was golden.
The classics were all performed: "Workin' My Way Back to You", "Beggin," "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" (his first solo hit), "Who Loves You" (lots of audience participation), "Oh What A Night", "Sherry," "Walk Like A Man", "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Bye Bye Baby," "Rag Doll," and "Let's Hang On," the last three being part of the wonderful encore!
The Seasons were introduced and had short solo parts during "Oh What A Night" and this classic piece came back to close out the show.
Frankie was shaking hands with the front row and we saw a ridiculous person try to hand him a pen and paper, while Frankie was singing and shaking hands. Right. He was brushed off with a shake of the head. During instrumental breaks, Frankie's long time musical director, Robby Robinson, could be seen giving him cues as to when to come in, but he never missed a beat. Frankie mentioned the 10 year anniversary of the smash hit musical, "Jersey Boys," which tells the story of the Four Seasons and the personal losses he experienced during his life. This man is a survivor and proved it here tonight at 81 years of age. And did I mention, he still hits those high notes?