Tom Jones @ The Wellmont Theatre, Montclair, N.J. 9/28/16
Tom Jones presented his two-hour powerhouse-of-a-show at Montclair’s Wellmont Theatre to a slightly ‘mature’ crowd…who were rabid to hear the Welsh singer someplace other than Vegas. Not only did we get treated to newer numbers like the stark guitar-and-drums only opener of John Lee Hooker’s “Burning Hell,” and an equally gospel-ly “Run On,” but when Mr. Jones and his cracker-jack 8 piece band of guys less than half his age rolled through well-known numbers like “Mama Told Me (Not to Come),” “What’s New Pussycat?” and “Delilah,” we got slowed-down, revamped versions you could tell Jones and band were having the time of their lives putting new life into. At 76, Tom Jones is still keeping it fresh, real and perfectly played and sung.
Tunes like “Elvis Presley Blues” and a killer Leonard Cohen’s “Tower of Song” were among the newer songs that Jones owns presently and he managed as an encore of “Thunderball,” the title track of the James Bond film of the same name (a real surprise actually) as well as a shout out to Prince before performing “Kiss” a long ago staple of his live set and “Strange Things Happening Every Day.”
Tom Jones really hasn’t lost any of his amazing baritone. Sure the high end might be slightly shaved off, but the man can still sing better than anyone around, commands the stage simply by doing his work and is a true legend in every sense of the word. And he still seems to be having the time of his life up there, singing for us.