Frankie Valli and the Four Sea­sons

The Guardian Weekly - - Culture - Dave Simp­son

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

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