tue 28/01/2020

Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, Royal Albert Hall | reviews, news & interviews

Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, Royal Albert Hall

Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, Royal Albert Hall

Las Vegas comes to Kensington Gore

Frankie Valli: live, he sounds exactly like Frankie Valli

It was the right venue. Frankie Valli is New Jersey royalty. He might not have been crowned, but appearing in The Sopranos is as good as any coronation. As he leaned into the audience, shaking hands, he spread his magic. Even Jimmy Page had come along for this rare London show by one of pop’s greatest, most distinctive voices.

The real shock was that live, Valli sounds exactly like Frankie Valli. Exactly. To hear for real the sharp falsetto was a thrill. Opening with a forceful “Grease” couldn't disguise the fact that, despite the billing, it was instantly obvious this was not Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons. It was Frankie Valli, four backing singers and a brass-bolstered band. It’s probably the case that whoever Valli says is a Four Season becomes one.

He could have picked members of the cast of any of the productions of Jersey Boys. After opening on Broadway in 2005, the stage adaptation of The Four Seasons’ story has become a global franchise. London’s staging began in 2009. Toronto, Melbourne and Auckland followed. It's taken a while for Valli himself to head to the London stage – he hasn’t been here for 18 years. Choosing to do so at the age of 78 is surprising. It obviously took some time to decide to return to Jersey Boys’ second home.

The meat was saved for the second half: nothing fancy, just hit after hit

Choosing what to perform should have been equally tough. The Four Seasons were one of the few early-Sixties American groups to not only survive the Beatle era, but to thrive in it. They oozed hits. Valli was a huge solo success, too. Even their lesser-known cuts had longevity – “The Night” became a Northern Soul perennial and was issued by Motown. "Who Loves You" was just as great. Their soul credentials were watertight, while in the disco era Valli adapted their sound and continued an already lengthy winning streak by contributing to the Grease soundtrack. Only then did the hits finally dry up.

After all this time away from the UK, it was disappointing to see a Las Vegas-style show, with Valli backed by a band for whom musical development stopped in the Eighties. Not much was tailored for a British audience. The second half opened with “The Night” and "Silence is Golden”, both better known here than in America, but the pre-interval set finished with a quartet of covers: “Call Me”, Let it Be Me”, “Spanish Harlem” and a “My Girl”/“Groovin’" medley, the sort of thing bands do in Vegas when they know they’re playing to crowds who haven't necessarily fetched up because of who’s on the bill. Recognisable songs are sure-fire audience pleasers. Still, it didn’t stop massed swaying to “My Girl”.

But when this show was on, it was on, erasing memories of any filler. The first set’s romp through "Beggin'" was a highlight. So was a schmaltzy “My Eyes Adored You”. The meat was saved for the second half: “Who Loves You”, "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)”, “Can't Take My Eyes Off You”, "Walk Like a Man”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”. Nothing fancy, just hit after hit.

In his dark suit Valli wasn’t much inclined to make a spectacle of himself, although he moved more than Liam Gallagher. More of the good stuff would have been welcome, but the combination of just-enough classic songs and that incredible voice was sufficient. Next time, and hopefully there is a next time, more may be needed.

Watch the video for Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons’ “Who Loves You”

Comments

what a c**p review, he did exactly what the fans wanted, this was blatantly obvious by the reactionnof the audience, singing, dancing cheering. If he hadn't put in a few newish nubers, you would have said there was no new material. Looks like he couldn't win. It was a superb concert, true to FrankieValli, if it seemed too 60's,that's because he is a 60 star, why change it, that's exactly what we wanted.

Having arranged this for my husband's surprise Christmas present it was well worth the wait both for him and me. The evening exceeded all our expectations "oh what a night"!! Frankie Valli has not lost any of his vocal talents despite his 78 years and he effortlessly hit the high notes. Although having wAited until 11.45 pm at the stage door our only disappointment was that Frankie Valli did not appear to give autographs. (Shame really as This is supposedly his final tour in this country).

SERIOUSLY! You are a total tool - I was at the concert and it was amazing. At one point we thought Valli was miming because his voice was so perfect! Please bear in mind that Valli is 78! I would like to see any other 78 year old command the stage with such professionalism for 2 hours. The crowd loved every minute of it. If anyone reading this has the opportunity to go to the show then you must. Reviews like this are unnecessarily critical and should not deter you from going.

I was there last night with my 24 year old daughter who bought us the tickets as a Christmas present. It was the best live performance I have seen in years (and that's a LOT of big names). Brilliant vocals for a man half Frankie's age, and a tight band with a well balanced sound which wasn't impossibly loud. Frankie had a great rapport with the audience too: yes his Las Vegas experience helped here but it all seemed very genuine. And it seemed to me the audience was very happy with the set list.

This is a very good review for a very good show! I think the review has a positive tone! :)

Only booked Tuesday to see him Wednesday. We had a fantastic night. His sound is still gutsy and he hasn't lost his distinctive sound. Have been to see The Jersey Boys with different sets of friends, three times, but last night was such a treatt. We danced most of the second half. He would have enhanced the Jubilee concert as so many people know and love his music. When I text my 32 yr.old to tell him where we were, his reply was one word. JEALOUS. I can't believe the rubbish review written, so felt compelled to comment.

So agree with the comments left by others!! Review is unnecessarily critical - show was exactly what we wanted. Flawless and totally professional - oh what a man - oh what a night!!!!!!

I agree with Dee Roberts totally above......Fabulous Frankie...we had a ball!!!

What a fantastic concert - best I've ever seen of performer of any age ! Would see it again & again if possible. Well done Frankie.......

I was at The Albert Hall on Tuesday to see Frankie Valli. I also saw him in 1972,76, 92,93 and 94, and this was probably the best I have heard his voice. I loved the way he just walked on and sang, no frills no big introduction. I thought the set was fantastic, didn't mind him doing the covers, it sort of broke the night up. I slightly agree with the review, I think the 4 young lads idea was was a touch corny, I prefer it when the band do the backing vocals. But this took nothing away from my favourite artist of all time. PS The audience were awsome.

I have waited years to see my idol, I finally see him on the 27/6/12 what a fantasic night, Frankie lived up to all my expectations, a brilliant artist, LOVED IT. If I had to have anything negative to say it would be he doesnt come over often enough, If I could buy a season ticket I would. WELL DONE FRANKIE, hope to see you again next year

i went with my husband, one of my daughters and one of my grandsons( who was the one who found out about frankie touring here). i have loved him and his music for 45 years and this was the first time i'd seen him. i never expected him to be able to hit the high notes i just wanted to hear the emotion he sings with. He was truly amazing , a legend and an icon. i loved every minute and didn't want it to end. he hit every note. i thought the four seasons were excellent and the band extremely good. i haven't got my voice back yet cos of the singing and shouting.hopefully he will be back next year and everyone should go to see a musical genius. next time i will get to the stage and shake his hand to thank him for being so great.

I went with my Grandmother on the 27/6/12 after also going on the 23/6/12 in Hampton Court. He is fantastic! I have not seen a better concert in my life. He really knows how to entertain and wow an audience! I got to shake his hand twice just like many others as we all rushed to the front nearing the end of the performance. I am truly saddened about the crap and awful review that has been written. Just like ALL the comments here, we all think it was great with nothing to fault. I really hope he sticks to his promise and comes back next year as I will be the first to obtain tickets I can assure you! I am even thinking of getting tickets for his Epsom performance on 05/7/12 to see him for the third time as he was truly so amazing!

I personally believe the performance was awful. You can tell as he is getting older he is getting worse. And to Jack Cramp, I think you are absolutely mental to go see him for a third time, seriously you need help.

I agree, I personally feel that the show was lacking in taste and authenticity and I strongly agree that the show does get worse as it goes along. I strongly disagree with Jack Cramps review and I would not recommend anyone squiring tickets for another show.

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