Oh, what a night! Looking back at Frankie Valli's Live at the Marquee gig

by Greg Murphy

A warm night in Cork was taken through all Four Seasons as 83-year-old Frankie Valli strolled onto the stage for what would be one of the highlights of this year's Live at the Marquee festival.

From start to finish, the crowd marvelled at the musical genius who gave us hit after hit after hit of his extensive back catalogue for almost 2 full hours.

Before this gig, I wouldn’t have classed myself as a fan of Frankie and the Four Seasons, but he was preaching to a converted music lover come the end of his performance.

Kicking things off with Who Loves You, Frankie knew how to capture the audience’s attention and held it for the full night.

It turned from a concert in the Marquee to a 'sing along by the Lee’ as Working My Way Back To You rang out across the Show Grounds followed with My Eyes Adore You.

If that’s not enough to get you up and singing to your loved ones, I know what will.

No sing-song would be complete without a hit from Grease and Frankie supplied one of the best.

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Singing the title track from the 1978 hit movie, written by Bee Gee Barry Gibb, the crowd were up and moving like Greased Lighting.

Once the crowd was warmed and ready to go, tribute was paid to Frank Sinatra with I’ve Got You Under My Skin, written by Cole Porter, made famous by Old Blue Eyes, and now perfected by the incredible voice of Frankie Valli.

We were reminded that the world is a turbulent and troubled place and singing his 1976 Harmony Perfect Harmony, Frankie called for everyone to put their differences aside and create a better world for us all.

This was complemented later in the evening when he dedicated Silence is Golden to all politicians.

Let’s be honest, we all know one or two who should heed his advice.

Following a quick shirt change from black to red during Swearin’ to God, Frankie brought us right back to the 60s, an era when music told a story and had a meaning.

Ben E King’s Spanish Harlem accompanied by My Girl reignited people's singing voices once again, and it was only beginning.

Frankie’s infamous high notes brought the crowd to cheers of delight and amazement during Stay, right before December 1963 (Oh, What a Night) got them to their feet.

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From here on out it was smooth sailing for Frankie and his 11-piece band leaving us wanting more as Jersey Boys' hits brought us to end of the night.

Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You, Sherry, Walk Like a Man, Rag Doll and Let’s Hang On would have rounded off the night perfectly, but the original Jersey Boy was finished.

Ending the night on a high with Big Girls Don’t Cry and Bye Bye Baby left the audience just wanting more.

Two local musicians joined the band on stage with Paul Dunlea and Emmett Donlon adding a brass section to the already impressive group of musicians on the night.

Frankie Valli, the only remaining member of the group still on the road, can still hold his own with anyone on stage.

His greatest asset remains his flawless voice, and while he had four fantastic, and youthful backing singers, they paled in comparison to his lively and energetic performance.

I’ve seen younger groups put on great gigs, but this New Jersey-born Octogenarian put them all to shame with his charm and charisma.

Thank you, Frankie, for sharing your talents with us. You are, and always will be one the greats.

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