When seeing a specific band, you know you will get their big hits. When seeing an act known for playing Vegas, you can expect a diverse playlist that will cover many of your favorite artists by one singular star. The anticipation of how each famous song would be interpreted made for an exciting concert called ‘Vegas Nights with Frankie Moreno,’ featuring the BSO with Jack Everly, conductor. Jack Everly indicated this production is Moreno’s first symphonic performance. Hopefully this is just the beginning of a long tradition.
Many people were first introduced to Frankie Moreno as a ten year old on CBS’s “Star Search, others saw him on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” performing his self-penned hit “Tangerine Honey.” As three time Las Vegas Headliner of the Year, Frankie Moreno brings the style of the Rat Pack with the showmanship of an Elvis Presley performance. Residencies at the Stratosphere and the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas show reinforces his headlining reputation. As a pianist and multi-instrumentalist, Frankie has played Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, and Hollywood Bowl for sold-out audiences.
…Frankie Moreno brings the style of the Rat Pack with the showmanship of an Elvis Presley performance…a show that exceeds all expectations.
His backing band outside of BSO included two background vocalists, a three piece horn section, guitarist, bassist, and a drummer, all from his Vegas band shined as musicians and vocalists at every opportunity.
Moreno dressed in a black and white suit and short combo for the first set and a silver velvet suit for the second. The backing band dressed in silver jackets for the first set and in white shirts for the second set.
Moreno talked about the song “Some Kind of Love” written for and recorded by Ray Charles before his death. The performance showed just how versatile a performer Frankie is, as I could hear Ray Charles singing this wonderful ballad. Moreno hopes for the Ray Charles version in a future compilation.
Moreno’s sense of pride in his collaboration with world renowned violinist Joshua Bell has evident in his introduction of the heavier electric version of the Beatles’ Eleanor Rigby. He talked about how this song launched his career to the point he is today. Frankie’s collaboration led to a number one album on Billboard’s chart as well as a top ten album follow-up.
Moreno captivated the sold out room from the first note of “Roll over Beethoven” until the closing notes of “Jailhouse Rock.” Having the audience waving their cell phones during “Bridge over Trouble Water” and slow dancing with their respective guests with the emotional power of “Stand by me.”
Moreno’s voice handles the old school style of Frank Sinatra with covers of “That’s Life” and “One for my Baby” and the country modesty of a ballad with “why is all the whiskey gone?” and the enthusiasm of “Rocky Top” which spotlighted the concert master on fiddle and cowboy hat without missing a beat.
The mixture of originals “Midnight Matinee,” “Tangerine Honey” with standards like “Beyond the Sea” and “Balls of Fire”” showed how diverse a performer Moreno truly is. When the audience is dancing, clapping, and singing along throughout the entire show, you know you are witnessing a performer at the highest level of his game. Moreno gifted a signed guitar to a fan in the front row he recognized from a prior show. His appreciation of the audience was very sincere in every moment he took to talk with the audience. I did not want the show to end that is the sign of a show you want to come back soon.
Moreno showed an enthusiasm for all ages 8 to 80 to enjoy as the crowd was presented with a show that exceeds all expectations.
“Vegas Nights with Frankie Moreno” played with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at the Music Center at the Strathmore on April 12th and the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall for three performances the weekend of April 13th through April 15th. For tickets, click here.