Entertainers must love performing in Des Moines. It's such an easy auidence.
Take last night, for instance. Frankie Valli, of The Four Seasons fame, played the Civic Center and he got a standing ovation just for walking out on the stage. He hadn't done a thing, yet people stood and clapped anyway.
Maybe they were showing their appreciation that Frankie, at age 77, was still able to walk onto a stage. Or maybe they were applauding the fact that here was a guy well past his prime who would try to sing "Sherry" and "Walk Like A Man," songs with falsetto parts more suitable for a 12-year-old whose voice hasn't changed.
He sang both songs, of course, and yeah, he didn't hit those high notes quite like he did in the 60s, but he was pretty darn close. Pam joked that when he knew he couldn't hit a note, those were the times he held the microphone out for the audience to sing along.
Frankie had four young male singers -- The New Seasons? -- backing him. It was fun to see those guys get into the songs because they weren't even born when Frankie and the original Seasons hit the big time. Frankie had his own six-piece band, plus an imported five-man horn section. They either play together a lot or spend hours rehearsing because it was a very slick production.
At one point, Frankie said he was going to do some songs from a new CD. That's usually the low point for an "oldies" show because fans don't want to hear new songs. They want the old ones they remember from their youth. Fans still cheer when Paul McCartney sings his recent material, but they go wild when he does Beatles stuff.
But Frankie's "new" material turned out to be his version of old songs like "Call Me," "Spanish Harlem" and "Let It Be Me," so it was OK. I never could have envisioned a medley that combined "My Girl" and Groovin'," but Frankie and his bandmates pulled it off.
In the end, it was a typical concert featuring a popular act from long ago who still has it. Audience members cheered, sang along, danced and clapped in rhythm to the music. And I always think: 40 or 50 years from now, will today's Justin Bieber fans still be going to his shows and singing along?
I just can't see that happening.
Pam and I saw "Jersey Boys" a couple of years ago, so when we learned Frankie Valli would be here, we decided we had to check out the real thing. Or at least one-fourth of the real thing.
Trust me, the real thing was better.