Monday night, the place to be was at Feinstein's at Loews Regency, where the long anticipated return of Jarrod Spector's show Minor Fall, Major Lift played to such a sold out house, that Feinstein's had to bring in additional tables to accommodate everyone. A chronological account of his life until now, molded with help from his director Eric Michael Gillett, was told to the supportive crowd.
The Jersey Boys star took us through the ups and downs of his personal experiences in an honest, off-the-cuff way; from his parents meeting and falling in love, to the trials and tribulations of being a childhood performer, to quitting the industry, to landing a Broadway show, and ending on a positive, hopeful note of what's still yet to come. Spector led us through it all with connected emotional intensity and high quality vocals.
I had seen his show last year at the Metropolitan Room and really enjoyed it, but this time around, for his Feinstein's debut, I felt an ease with Spector's delivery, that the show had settled in his body, was comfortable, was just - him. There was more of a realness this time around, and I felt the connection he had to both his patter and the song lyrics, like he was talking to me in his living room. And let's face it - the kid can sing! Those Jersey Boys all have crazy falsettos, it's powerful, and very rare. His high notes are crystal clear, straight in tonality, and cut through the darkness right into your heart.
Jarrod began his show with a great arrangement from his music director Adam Ben-David, and then went into the song "Kiss On My List" by Janna Allen and Daryl Hall, stating that it was number one on the charts the year he was born. This upbeat music really got the crowd going. Once again, I have to give props to Spector's amazing band; Jake Schwartz on guitar, Mat Fieldes on bass, Damien Bassman on drums, Dan Willis on horns and Teresa Gattison and Rachel Stern on background vocals. The combination of all of them together was like a dance, and you could actually see the music moving through Adam Ben-David, as he played and conducted everyone. The number "Rock & Roll" by Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham, really showcased the band, and I don't think any members of the audience were able to sit still in their chairs.
Spector did a great job with everything, but I feel he really got to shine the most on a great arrangement of "Put Your Head On My Shoulder/Calendar/Everyday" by Paul Anka/Neil Sedaka & Howard Greenfield/Buddy Holly & Norman Petty. It started off slow and tender, then was fun-loving, and finally ended with a huge crescendo. The crowd loved it. His song "Oh, Darling," by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, was sexy and had great intensity. Finally, he went into "Even Now" by Barry Manilow and Marty Panzer, which he sang for his parents, and which had a simplicity and tenderness and showed a softer, more vulnerable side of him. With everything that has happened so far in Spector's life, you'd think he would be much older than he really is, but in fact, he is just beginning. Jarrod ended his show with "River Of Dreams" by Billy Joel, and I'm sure that there are many more dreams to come for him. The show was one night only at Feinstein's on May 16th, but if he brings it back again, please do yourself a favor, and go see this amazing performer. You won't regret it.