NEPA Scene Staff

Legendary Hit Men ‘Time Travel’ back to the Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on April 30

Legendary Hit Men ‘Time Travel’ back to the Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on April 30
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From a press release:

The Hit Men, the legendary performers who toured and recorded with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Tommy James and the Shondells, Carly Simon, Carole King, Elton John, and many more, return to the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on Friday, April 28 at 8 p.m., sponsored by Erwine Home Health and Hospice.

Tickets, which are $25, $35, and $45, plus fees, are on sale now and available at the Kirby Center box office (71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre), online at, and by phone at 570-826-1100.

Since coming together in November of 2010, this incomparable quintet has made songs by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons; Elton John; Sting; Carly Simon; Carole King; Blood, Sweat & Tears; Cheap Trick; and many other superstars come to life like no other group. Now, with their new Time Travel Tour, The Hit Men will add songs from Paul McCartney, Three Dog Night, Journey, and The Young Rascals, among others, to their set.

To sum it all up, The Hit Men are great players, world-class entertainers – and most importantly, unlike tribute bands, The Hit Men were there when many of the actual songs were recorded. Their licks, their solos, their grooves, and their harmonies are embedded into the music and are essential to the sound of these records that millions would come to and continue to love.

Keyboardist and group founder Lee Shapiro; lead guitarist/vocalist Jimmy Ryan; bassist/vocalist Jeff Ganz; vocalist, percussionist, and keyboardist Russ Velazquez; and drummer and vocalist Steve Murphy deliver sizzling shows that combine live music, eye-popping videos, and reminiscences born from them witnessing and making musical history as it happened.

Audiences are stunned by the group’s performances of “December ’63 (Oh What a Night),” “You’re So Vain,” “Lets Hang On,” “Don’t Stop Believing,” and “Joy to the World,” to mention a few, and consistently come back to see The Hit Men perform time after time.

As just one of many examples, Shapiro has told the true story behind how the title and focus of “Oh What a Night” changed at the last minute before the vocal tracks were cut. “We hated it,” he recalls. “There we were, a bunch of young guys being the Four Seasons in the ’70s, telling Bob Gaudio, who had so many hits and made millions of dollars, that we didn’t like the lyric. He wasn’t happy at all, but he went back and rewrote it based on our input. He could have ignored us, but he didn’t. As a result of that conversation, it ended up being the biggest hit in the history of the Four Seasons and stayed on the Billboard Charts for 54 weeks!”

What exactly did Shapiro and his colleagues suggest? The answer to that question alone is worth the price of admission to any Hit Men appearance. They offer something no other act can promise. “We sell time travel and youth,” says Shapiro. “And we guarantee that you will leave younger and happier than when you arrived.”