October 28, 2006

Frankie Valli Rocks Newark!

October 28th, 2006

Star-Ledger reporter Jay Lustig recaps Frankie Valli’s benefit concert this past Thursday night at Newark’s New Jersey Performing Arts Center that raised $400,000 for the Boys and Girls Clubs of New Jersey.

Lustig notes that Valli was raised in Newark and performed in local clubs before putting together one of the greatest pop vocal groups of the ’60s, the Four Seasons. At Thursday evening’s concert, there was plenty of the old magic in the fast-paced 90-minute set, with Valli still projecting an effortless cool and a powerful falsetto. When he unleashed its full power, on “Stay,” the effect was startling.

According to the review, Valli smoldered effectively on “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and, somehow, even brought a touch of youthful innocence to “Walk Like a Man.” His 10-piece band, which featured five horn players, created a big, bold wall of sound on songs like “Rag Doll,” “Working My Way Back To You,” “Who Loves You” and “Let’s Hang On (To What We’ve Got).”

This was a hits-oriented show, designed, perhaps, with casino showrooms in mind. But there was also room for more obscure material, like “Streetfighter” and “Silence Is Golden,” which was introduced with a request for everyone to pay attention to the lyrics, “especially those of you out there in the Witness Protection Program.”

The four junior Seasons (two sets of brothers) retreated to stools and stayed quiet for most of “My Eyes Adored You,” one of the signature hits of Valli’s solo career. But they took turns singing the verses of “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” as Valli clowned, shaking like the nervous youth in the song.

The musicians behind him — especially bassist Keith Hubacher and guitarists Matt Baldoni and Gary Melvin — were in constant motion from the first note, bobbing their heads and strutting around the stage in time with the music. The Martinez and Brigham brothers sang and danced well throughout the concert, but never threatened to draw attention away from Valli.

Valli was in Newark, after all, where he has always been larger than life.


  1. I was at that concert, and can attest that Frankie still has the talent and charisma that has kept him so popular for so long. He played to the audience, and turned us all into Four Seasons fans once again!

    Comment by Pamela — October 29, 2006 @ 10:05 am

  2. I went to the concert in Ashland,Ky. in September and was very well pleased. It was one of the best concerts of his I have witnessed. The first was in 1978. He seemed to have mellowed a little with time and did connect with the crowd. The chatter and humor are great touches. I wish the show had been longer. I also wish “Harmony, Perfect Harmony” was still included. Maybe next time.

    Comment by richard — October 29, 2006 @ 9:01 pm

  3. Frankie Valli in award winning short. “Cash Deal” For more information about this film and to view the trailer go to the web link below:


    Comment by Michael Dinelli — January 8, 2007 @ 10:29 pm

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