Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: San Francisco

Jarrod Spector: A Little Help from My Friends
Feinstein's at the Nikko

Also see Richard's review of Detroit

Jarrod Spector has a story to tell. It's the story of the tenor voice and the songs that have brought this voice to the forefront of pop music. From Caruso to Bruno Mars, Spector wants to share with his audience the way the high, bright tenor voice came sparkling out of radios and soared above backing orchestras to touch us where it counts—in our hearts.

Spector tells this story in a marvelous 75-minute cabaret show called "A Little Help from My Friends," which he premiered at 54 Below in New York, and brought to San Francisco's premiere night club, Feinstein's at the Nikko, on June 25 and 26. There, in its acoustically lovely confines, Spector treated the audience to a terrific night of music, spanning several generations. From the Donizetti aria "Una Furtiva Lagrima," to "Good Golly, Miss Molly" to "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," Spector reveled in the music that captured his imagination on the journey from his boyhood in Philadelphia to a starring role on Broadway as Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys.

Supported by a terrific four-piece band (piano, guitar, bass and drums) and three talented backup singers, Spector powered through 20-plus songs, including some fascinating medleys, such as the aforementioned "Una Furtiva Lagrima," segueing into Queen's "Somebody to Love" and Bruno Mars's "When I Was Your Man," George Michael's "Faith," and the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations."

Spector had an assured stage presence and kept the mix between patter and music at just the right balance. Personally, if all a singer does is play their hits, I'm a little bored. I want the live experience to help me get to know the artist on a different level—and Spector certainly did that here.

Jarrod Spector's "A Little Help from My Friends" was presented at Feinstein's at the Nikko on June 25 and 26, 2015. He currently shows no upcoming dates on his website, but Feinstein's at the Nikko has a full calendar of singers and performers scheduled for the coming months.

- Patrick Thomas