This last was a week when I was really dragging myself to the finish line, but then as if waking from a long bad dream, I suddenly woke up to find myself at a concert by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
The ‘Seasons’ themselves, those handsome lads in their clingy black tees, weren’t even alive in ‘70s, whereas ol’ Frankie came into the world LONG before that – he turned 80 this past May – and as I peered down at him through the swivel and play of lights all I could think is I’m watching Al Pacino prowling the sage as Richard III.
Seriously? I thought. That’s really his voice? Doing the stage patter between songs he was now and then gulping bites of air but then when it came time to hit the rafters in that high falsetto he seemed to be doing it.
Or maybe he wasn’t doing it I don’t know. Milli Vanilli you could be mad at for lip-synching that album; it was right that they got laughed off the bus, but who could be mad if a guy 80 used technology to add the more curated version of his voice or the mix, tracks laid down in some studio when he was in vigorous mid-life.
Anyway they were great. Any crowd anywhere loves What a Lady what a Night. A beefy 40-something guy in front of me kept leaping to his feet and dancing a happy arms waving jog that from the hips down was strangely dainty and ballerina-like. Mean people shouted at him – I guess they thought it wasn’t that kind of concert – and certainly his little ten-year-old looked embarrassed but I liked the guy and admired his zeal, every time he stood to do his little jig, only to sit down again, looking pained and embarrassed by the cruel shouts directed at him.
I finally patted his shoulder by way of reassurance. I couldn’t help it. Though I am no longer much of a stander OR a dancer at concerts these days. I was once, I remember that. I remember at my first Elton John concert with my hair down my back in a kind of Princess Leia-style full-length dress I had just bought to accommodate that first baby, quietly growing inside me.
Big Girls Don’t Cry was great, and Sherry Bay-ay-bee Sherry was too of course. But for me the night hit its peak when Frankie took the mic and sang his first solo hit My Eyes Adored You, which made me think how we were all young once, and how someplace, on some other plane just out of the range of our dim, dim sight, we all still are.