Author Archive for: ‘SteveMurray’
John Lloyd Young
Feinstein’s at the Nikko, San Francisco, CA, August 10, 20-17
John Lloyd Young created the role of Frankie Valli in the Broadway musical Jersey Boys, winning a Tony for Lead Actor in a Musical. He followed that up in Clint Eastwood’s film adaptation in 2014 and continues to cash in on his fondness for 50’s and 60’s rock n roll/ doo wop on his 2014 CD “My Turn”. Young works his ‘rock n roll star’ onstage persona to perfection – becoming an Elvis-like character replete with sultry gestures, dark sunglasses and handshaking walks through the audience. His wildly enthusiastic, mostly female fan base squealed with delight at every affect, especially his opening mini-set of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You”, “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me”, “My Prayer” and “In the Still of the Night”. The women, some of whom had flown great distances to attend, swooned. I was bored.
But then something interesting happened. A stunning cover of Ray Orbison’s gorgeous heartbreak song “Say No More” (Sammy King) displayed a new dimension to Young; heartfelt, deep and genuine. “Parla Piu Piano”, the theme from The Godfather and sung in Italian is paired with the original Spanish version of “Usted” (Jose Antonio Zorrilla/Gabriel Ruiz Galindo) displayed Young’s variety and depth. He allowed his musical director and friend Tommy Faragher an opportunity to perform a sensational, bluesy cover of Leon Russell’s “A Song for You” and the two created great harmonies on Carole King’s “Show and Tell” and “Almost There” (Faragher/Adam Zelkind).
His high tenor is lovely, but due to a cold, couldn’t appear during “Sherry” (“you know I can sing it” he says), so he let his more than willing fans sing along. He closed with a raspy, rock cover of Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed”. JLY is more than a Jersey Boy caricature; of course he has to sing the hits that brought him his fame, but as an artist, he owes it to himself to branch out and feed his many muses. He has the talent in spades to achieve wider success.