By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 1/25/2020
Occurred: 12/10/2016
Topics/Keywords: #FrankieValli #FourSeasons #Music #Concerts Page Views: 1449
All about the concert I just attended, given by an elderly rocker and a fresh set of Seasons.

I've only attended a few concerts through the years; and now that I'm "retired" I can't really afford to go to any. So it was a surprise and pleasure when my daughter, Jenny, called me a week ago and asked if I would like to attend a concert being given by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. of course, I said yes! —And Jenny graciously included my fiancé, Keith.

Despite having a career than has spanned decades, and even a recent album, Frankie Valli might be unfamiliar to younger readers. His heyday was in the sixties and early seventies, when he put out a string of Number One Hits that would impress anyone. Younger people who may not know his name, have surely heard many of his hits. Can't Take My Eyes Off You would likely be one of them. Or Let's Hang On (To What We've Got).

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The concert was to start at 8 PM, and the venue was located not far from our condo. A typical-but-still-exquisite sunset was a good omen. (After all, red skies at night, sailors' delight.)

The venue was the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. Parking was $10 (and the concert wasn't cheap) and we had to walk a fair distance from the lot to the theatre.

Jenny and Jimmy, who had a longer drive than Keith and me, arrived just a few minutes after us. We went in and took our assigned seats, and OMG—they were in the second row

After a short overture and video, the Four Seasons strode onto the stage, followed by Frankie Valli, himself.

I have to admit that, when they first came out, I was a bit concerned about Valli. He's 82 (!) and I must say, really looked it. That may have been partly the fault of the lights, which had him looking a little greenish. Also, the sound wasn't quite right for the first couple of numbers. Jenny and I, whispering, wondered if he weren't lip syncing? But if he had, he would have sounded better.

However, after three numbers, Valli offered a bit of a monologue, explaining how he was inspired to become a singer. (It was a Frank Sinatra concert his mom took him to when he was 9.) He seemed to wake up during it, and did such a unique performance of I've Got You Under My Skin that he convinced me it was all live. Also the sound quality improved a lot at this point.

Unfortunately, the lights were so bright on Valli—especially by comparison to The Four Seasons—that his face got washed out in almost all the shots I took.

The concert filled two hours without a break. Jimmy mentioned that Valli had recently done a four-hour concert. That's amazing for a person of any age.

I was definitely rocking out by the time they did an awesome arrangement of Spanish Harlem, along with the rest of the audience. And I'm happy to say Jimmy and Jenny enjoyed the show as much as Keith and I did.

Frankie was born in Newark, New Jersey, which I think is his appeal to Jenny's husband, Jimmy, who is from there, as well. (So am I, almost; I was born in nearby Glen Ridge.) Though Frankie has consistently been the front man, the current crop of Four Seasons has been with him since 2008. This is a close-harmony singing group, and honestly I found them to be superior in talent and skill to the original members from the sixties. I also loved the rapport Valli had with them, and theirs with him. Although the younger men were clearly most respectful of Valli, they also interacted with him as equals, which I loved.

I should also mention the choreography, which was excellent—not too fancy; just the sort of thing a few street-corner crooners might have worked out for themselves. (Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons were rockers but grew out of the doo-wop movement of the fifties, when guys on street corners sang instead of killing people.

Definitely something worth hanging onto!