If you were not one of the standing room only visitors to Ravinia on June 12, you missed out on a very special night. While all of the events and shows at Ravinia (Lake County’s treasure), this was even more special. Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, after all these years, held the stage in the Pavilion for close to two hours with no intermission, taking us on the greatest trip down memory lane that I have experienced of the 60’s Rock N’ Roll. The Four Seasons not the guys from the original “Jersey Boys”, but the four back-up singers ( a young quartet) had the sounds that we remembered and the movements to boot. While many patrons were anticipating Valli to be less than what he was in his “day”, they received the shock of their lives watching him move and hit notes just as he did back in the 1950’s. Yes, do the math. Valli is 82 years old and as strong and vibrant as we recall. He even still has a full head of hair.
The concert began with some great videos. From Ed Sullivan introducing the Four Seasons thru many of the songs that Valli and his Four Seasons brought to life, we were prepared for the almost two hours of fine music. Songs such as “Dawn”, “Save It”, “My Eyes Adore You”, and then into a wonderful rendition of “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” as his idol, Frank Sinatra had it arranged, using those arrangements. It was a special moment, to say the least. As he spoke with the audience about today’s music, he tried to bring us a romantic Hip-Hop, Rap number. It brought laughter to the full Pavilion, but truly made us want more of the music that Valli and his original created. Music that brought back “Better times”. There was a special video and song, “Harmony” that allows us to see some of the special times during the years that Frankie and the Four Seasons were part of our lives. Superb!
We enjoyed such songs as “My Girl”, “Let It Be Me”, “Sunshine”, “Spanish Harlem”, “Working My Way Back To You” and of course, his very first solo recording “I Love You Baby “. Along with local musicians and his traveling musical director Robby Robinson, we had all the right sounds, of the times from the early days when the original guys sang “Under the Street Lamp “,f New Jersey (the inspiration for the Broadway hit “Jersey Boys” until now, with his latest CD “Romancing The 60’s”, Frankie Valli still has it. Thank you Ravinia for bringing him back to a place that is deep in his heart (his early recording days were here) and let us hope that when he comes back next year, you will be in the huge audience that gets an opportunity to watch and be part of it!
To stay in touch and know what others shows are coming up, go to www.ravinia.org or call 847-266-5100