Frankie Valli is arguably one of the biggest musical legends in the world, with the 82-year-old star first shooting to fame in the 1960s alongside his The Four Seasons’ bandmates.
Most known for his incredibly powerful falsetto voice, Frankie is responsible for some of the most timeless and best-loved songs of all time, including ‘Bye Bye Baby’, ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You’ and ‘December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night), however, with the icon not releasing any original music since the 80s, many wondered how he’d fare when he embarked on his international tour this year.
Thankfully, I was lucky enough to attend Frankie’s one and only London date at the O2 arena last night, and Frankie proved that he most definitely still has it.
Joined on stage by new, fresh-faced ‘Four Seasons’ providing the backing vocals, and occasionally taking the reins, as well as a host of tremendously talented musicians in his live band, Frankie took all 20,000 of us in the audience on a musical journey – transporting us back to the swingin’ 60s – and having a cheeky dig at heavily sexualised contemporary music while he was at it.
Opening with a montage of Frankie’s glittering and impressive career, the show kicked off with a stunning performance of his hit ‘Who Loves You?’ and Frankie went on to give incredible performances of popular tracks such as ‘Working My Way Back To You’, the Grease theme tune ‘Grease Is The Word’ and even a touching tribute to his idol, Frank Sinatra, with The Four Seasons’ rendition of ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’.
In the latter half of the show, Frankie and his band went on to give the audience exactly what they wanted as they performed some of his biggest hits, including ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, ‘Walk Like A Man’ and, of course, ‘December, 1963’, getting everybody well and truly into the party atmosphere, with Frankie’s pitch-perfect voice not faltering once.
Not even when he reached those exceptionally high notes in the classic tune ‘Stay’.
Frankie also slowed things down with emotive renditions of his more romantic tracks, such as ‘My Eyes Adored You’ and ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You’ – ensuring that everybody was swaying to the beat with their mobile phone flashlight shining in the darkness.
In spite of his ability to deliver faultless performance after faultless performance, Frankie is certainly not the type of star to show up at a gig just to sing and then walk off stage again. In fact, the star made a point to chat to his dedicated audience inbetween tracks and showed plenty of his playful personality that so greatly helped him with his success in the past.
Giggling like a schoolboy when enamoured women threw an entire bag of Primark’s finest lacy underwear on stage, Frankie proved that even though he isn’t as young as he used to be, he is still a 20-something-year-old lovable rouge at heart.
Chatting to the crowd about being approached to record a contemporary album a couple of years back, Frankie explained that he wasn’t able to keep up with the highly sexualised tunes of the late noughties, surprising his fans as he busted into his own freestyle attempt at a contemporary song about women, rapping: “Some are big and some are small/ I was having a ball/ So I did ’em all.”
As the crowd cheered, an exasperated Frankie quipped: “Now really, what kind of music is that? Do people actually make love to that kind of music?
“No wonder all the kids are crazy.”
Cue screams of admiration and agreement from the crowds.
As well as having absolutely fantastic stage presence and buckets of personality, Frankie also proved that despite his monumental fame and success he is no diva and has no ego.
Blatantly uninterested in hogging the limelight, the star made a point of stepping back, into the darkness, as the spotlight fell on his band and backing singers, leaving the stage on occasion to ensure that the rest of the people on stage got just as much credit as he did.
In short, Frankie Valli’s latest show did nothing but prove exactly why he is so widely regarded as one of the world’s most iconic musicians, ensuring that we all left the arena knowing that he fully deserves every drop of success that he has enjoyed over the past five decades and that age really is just a number.