Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons know plenty about taking nostalgia to a high level, it turns out. The singer with the hard-to-believe falsetto voice, and a long string of hits featuring that voice, still has it, even at age 84, as was heard Friday night at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.
Looking hale and hearty and accompanied by his backing vocalists, the Four Seasons, who are four much younger guys, and a nifty nine-man band (two keyboards, two percussionists, guitar, bass, saxophone, trombone and trumpet), Valli packed a 90-minute show full of hits, his and others.
There was no opening act, and Valli came out and got right to work, in fact, with “Working My Way Back to You,” followed by the dramatic “Dawn (Go Away),” then did a 1963 hit that wasn’t his: “Our Day Will Come,” made famous by Ruby & the Romantics. Later, Valli spoke a bit about Romancing the ‘60s, an album he released in 2007 consisting of 1960s hits by other folks, and he sang a couple of those songs: “Spanish Harlem” and a combination of “My Girl/Groovin’.”
An even more off-the-wall selection later was “Silence Is Golden,” a “B” side to the Four Seasons hit “A” side, “Rag Doll,” and later a No. 1 United Kingdom hit in 1967 for The Tremeloes.
The crowd of 2,128 enjoyed these detours, but they were there to hear the hits by Valli and the Four Seasons, which included “Opus 17 (Don’t You Worry ‘Bout Me),” “Tell It to the Rain,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” which Valli first explained was a song written by Cole Porter and made famous by Frank Sinatra. He continued on with “Swearin’ to God,” “My Eyes Adored You,” “Who Loves You” (which brought fans to their feet, perhaps because it was the ending song in Jersey Boys, the play and movie about Valli and the Four Seasons’ life and times.)
Another surprise was the choice of “Stay,” a 1960 hit by Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs, and later by Jackson Browne in 1977. It was a good choice for Valli to showcase his falsetto voice, as fine an instrument as it ever was.
Other hits included “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night),” followed by his first solo hit, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” along with “Sherry,” the first hit by the Four Seasons, and the first time most American music fans heard that soon-to-be famous falsetto. “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Bye, Bye, Baby (Baby, Goodbye),” “Rag Doll” and “Let’s Hang On” completed a show that left fans apparently pleased as punch.
Valli, as did 83-year-old Johnny Mathis two months ago at Robinson Performance Hall, proved that age doesn’t always alter the power of the human voice.
Print Headline: Frankie Valli pleases fans at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock