Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
First Direct Arena, Leeds
★★★★★ The legendary Frankie Valli is 84, yet pulls off a two-hour show with more than two dozen songs, delivering a joyous celebration of pop music at its sweetest and purest. Valli doesn’t need new material when his catalogue of smashes ranges from the doo-wop days to the disco era. The hit Four Seasons musical Jersey Boys has given him a much younger audience, who respond to hits such as Rag Doll, Walk Like a Man, Sherry, Let’s Hang On and the rest.
His piercing falsetto is one of the most extraordinary sounds in pop, and its power belies the decades. Valli is mortal, though. He’s less nimble on his feet nowadays and this is a farewell tour, but the black-suited singer who was born Francesco Castelluccio still radiates Italian-American cool and bone-dry wit. “We’re gonna slow things down a little,” he says. “Because I need to.”
By the time he gets to My Eyes Adored You, December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night), I Love You Baby and Bye, Bye, Baby, the house has been brought down so often it may need new foundations. On tour in the US until 29 June, 2019