He may be 81, but Francesco Stephen Castelluccio, better known as Frankie Valli, rocked the Schermerhorn Sept. 26 in Nashville. Performing the third and final sell-out in Music City, his distinctive falsetto was still powerful, his stage presence energetic and entertaining, and his love of performing genuine and obvious. Along with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Frankie Valli’s new Four Seasons and 6-member band wowed an appreciative, admiring fan base ranging from teenagers (undoubtedly fueled by the wildly successful Broadway show Jersey Boys) to octogenarians.
The concert opened with the Four Seasons’ two-million seller, “Grease,” continued with such well-known classics as “Working My Way Back to You,” “Who Loves You,” “December, 1963,” “Silence Is Golden,” “Stay,” and included Frankie Valli’s 1967 solo gold, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and his 1974 No. 1, “My Eyes Adored You.”
Performing songs from their latest CD, Frankie Valli – Romancing the ’60s, the band paid tribute to other artists’ hits from the decade that made Valli famous, including “Let It Be Me,” a medley of “My Girl” and “Groovin’” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” a signature song of Frank Sinatra, Valli’s inspiration and friend. From age seven, when Valli first saw Sinatra perform, he dreamed of becoming a professional singer, quite an aspiration for a kid growing up in a government housing project in Newark, N.J.
Even in his wildest dreams, Franki Valli couldn’t have imagined a six-decade career entertaining audiences worldwide, recordings that included 71 chart hits (40 in the Top 40, 19 in the Top 10 and eight No. 1s), becoming a household word, an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and making an unforgettable mark on the American pop music scene.
Songs the audience had all been waiting for came in the finale with “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Rag Doll” and an encore performance of “Let’s Hang On” brought the house down. Valli hit the high notes, remembered all of the lyrics and gave a performance that would have been physically and vocally draining for someone decades younger.
As one excited concert-goer said, “It was not only a delightful, rollicking good time, it provided thousands a trip back in time.”
Coincidentally, after three fabulous nights of Frankie Valli’s Four Seasons, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons followed at the Schermerhorn.
For more information and music from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, visit frankievallifourseasons.com; for more great upcoming presentations at Nashville’s Schermerhorn, visit nashvillesymphony.org.