Latest Review – Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons (Manchester Arena)

FRANKIE VALLI AND THE FOUR SEASONS

Manchester Arena

Thursday 27th April, 2017

At the tender age of 82 (and just days before his 83rd birthday), original Jersey Boy Frankie Valli brought the UK leg of his 2017 Greatest Hits tour to a superb close in front of a packed-out crowd at the Manchester Arena last night, most definitely living up to the ‘Greatest Hits’ label with a dynamic, whistle-stop nostalgia trip through the decades, enthralling the diverse and adoring audience with hit after glorious hit, and a few covers thrown in for good measure.

Free from visual gimmicks and stage devices, the spritely, tuxedo-clad Valli still proves himself an impressive frontman and hosts an evening focused entirely on the live performance and the quality of Gaudio and Crewe’s timeless songs, though his dialogues are almost exclusively basic introductions to the numbers, and it would have been nice to hear some of the countless fascinating tales Valli will inevitably have stored away over the course of his five-decade plus career.

Understandably some of the higher notes don’t always come as effortlessly as they once did, however Valli’s unique and unmistakable falsetto still rings with a haunting clarity and power that astonishingly belies his considerable years, soaring enviably above an exceptional live band (under the musical direction of long-time collaborator Robbie Robertson) and very vocal crowd.

It is a hugely impressive feat that Valli is still selling out vast arenas some 55-years on from the release of the Four Seasons’ debut single, though the band certainly owes a great deal to the long-running success of smash-hit musical Jersey Boys for introducing an entire new generation of fans to their music and thrusting them firmly back into the mainstream arena with its rags-to-riches tale and flawless soundtrack.

The musical is certainly a major factor for their continued success, but although this Greatest Hits show is very well structured and suitably tailored to Valli’s principle target audience, the musical theatre fans out there may well have been expecting a more lavish, theatrical affair than the no-nonsense rock and roll hit parade ultimately delivered.

Supported by the the current Four Seasons lineup: Todd Fournier, Brian Brigham, Brandon Brigham and Landon Beard (who have been with Valli since 2008), the music sounds as fresh and exhilarating as ever, with the likes of December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night), Sherry, Grease, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, My Eyes Adored You and Who Loves You? rendered in vigorous and enduring fashion.

With the promise to return next year with another Greatest Hits presentation, Valli clearly has no plans to throw in the towel just yet, and given the energy and raw power that exuded from the stage, this was definitely no retirement party.


Running Time: 1 hours and 50-minutes (approx.) (no support)

For more information on upcoming tour dates, and to book tickets, please Click Here.

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