Show Review: Entertainer Frankie Moreno – A Steady Momentum Of Talent

by Terri D’Richards

Frankie Moreno on stage wtih muscians

Welcome to Frankie’s house! Kick back, relax, have a drink and rock the experience where old Vegas Rat Pack retro collides with modern swagger style. Voted Best Strip Headliner by Las Vegas Weekly and Best All Around Performer by the Las Vegas Review Journal, this singer-songwriter earns his titles nightly, demonstrating all-around musical virtuosity in an accessible personality package — one moment busting a Jerry Lee Lewis like move on the piano, the next moment busting out a bottle of Crown Royal to pour shots for any audience members who approach the stage with an empty glass.

Cracking wise and playing music his way, Frankie doesn’t rely on smoke, mirrors or acrobats to entertain us. Instead, audiences are treated to a pure display of talent and showmanship, with many female fans also noting the performer’s easy-on-the-eyes factor adding to his overall appeal.

Backed by the now rarely-seen-in-Vegas LIVE band, Moreno showcases his instantly hummable original songs along with fresh takes on classics by other artists, most notably, a collaboration with world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell which resulted in the #1 Billboard charting single of The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby”. No stranger to notoriety, Moreno gained national attention as an 11 year old piano prodigy on “Star Search”.

Frankie Moreno with his brother Tony on bassFlash forward a bit to find him not exactly a household name, but backing artists such as Air Supply and country sensation Billy Currington. Throughout, Moreno remained a regular fixture on the Las Vegas scene, honing his chops for the last decade in smaller lounges and piano bars up and down the Strip, accompanied by a 3 piece band including brother Tony on bass. From there, a steady momentum of talent and perseverance eventually lead to this residency at The Stratosphere, further bolstered by the Billboard success, a break out performance on “Dancing with the Stars”, and a Frankie Moreno station added to the Pandora internet radio.

Frankie Moreno singingIn his new incarnation at The Stratosphere showroom, the line-up has been filled out to include a 3 piece string section and a 3 piece horn section, which Moreno uses to great effect in jazzing and livening up his sound and presentation in accordance with the larger venue, creating an energetic live concert experience. Brother Tony still serves as solid bass man and willing side-kick for Frankie’s extemporaneous, sometimes irreverent stage banter. Another brother, Ricky, also shows up intermittently to provide comic relief of a different sort.

Like a classic jazz improv, the show proves exhilarating and entertaining for its performers as well as its spectators, making everyone a true participant with the feeling that, as Frankie sings in his original song “A Million Roads”, right now this moment is the perfect place to be.

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