Monday, October 11, 2004

"Oh, What a Night"

Regular readers of what is now Cyber Chocolate, Jr. know that hubby and I have been going to oldies concerts for a while at the Westbury Music Fair, a nice little theater in the round (with a revolving stage) on Long Island, NY. We have memberships so we get first crack at tickets, which means we usually sit somewhere in the first three rows. Tonight we were in the first row to enjoy Lou Christie and Frankie Valli, both of whom we've seen there previously. And both really play to the audience, making us part of the act, which hubby and I greatly appreciate, encouraging singalongs and not minding the shouting of all sorts of things from the crowd.

Lou Christie opened the show and, having more time this time, did some nice falsetto. He's changed a lot physically from what he looked like in the '60s, but he has a lot of energy onstage. He made fun of his falsetto and all the songs he'd done with the word "cry" in the title or lyrics. But he sang "Lightning Striking" (or whatever the damn title is; I'm so bad at remembering titles) in a normal voice, just managing to hit high notes on the chorus. It was the last song of his set, so I could forgive him. He sang "Mac the Knife," which a lot of acts have sung at Westbury lately, and while he did a nice job with it, I hate anyone singing the pop version of it. It seems to belong to Bobby Darin and Bobby Darin is probably the closest I have to a favorite singer. I sure wish I could've seen him on stage.

Frankie Valli's voice isn't what it used to be, but he looks just like he did way back when albeit a bit older, and he did just fine, showing a self-deprecating sense of humor in discussing his high voice and how he used to wish he sounded like the late Barry White. And the four guys singing backup, and dancing in sync like something out of a '60s' variety show, were entertaining, but I can't decide if they were gay or straight. I don't know too many straight guys who have grins plastered on their faces like that. But they have nice voices and do a good job.

Some of these oldies acts seem so natural, but sometimes, like tonight, I feel caught between two eras and of two minds. Part of me sees the antics of these 60ish acts as dorky and silly, and the other part of me is just grooving to the beat and thinking it's great that they still have such energy and still enjoy performing. Tonight, I felt it when I saw Lou Christie still making like the sex symbol he was way back when (look at some of the pics on his website -- link above -- he was hot) and women in the audience, women older than I am, treating him that way. And when I watched the exaggerated dance moves of the 20-something singers backing up Frankie Valli. But after a while, even when I'm torn like that, the music takes over my mind and I'm transported back in time, singing along with the acts instead of my record player or the radio.

And I got to shake Frankie's hand when he came around to the front rows at the end of his set, and that was so seriously cool.