Pavilion's Cool Big Top Good Place for Hot Time

Tom JonesPavilion's Cool Big Top Good Place for Hot Time Rocky Mountain News, Denver CO Dave Flomberg - The Buzz Mrs. Buzz loves Tom Jones. Yes it's true that competing with The Voice from Wales all these years has been a tough row to hoe. First off, there's the bloody accent. That slight British elocution that seems to make women's hair stand up on end. Then there's the moves. Tom Jones has moves. The man is well into his 60s and he's still got the moves. Just a hint of a pelvis gyration and women are in convulsions. But I can't hate the man. No, he's simply too cool to hate. It's like trying to hate the Fonz or Samuel L Jackson. You can try, but it just can't be done. Especially against the backdrop of Siz Flags Elitch Gardens, which lent a lovely carnival atmosphere to Denver's best outdoor/indoor venue. Granted, it's one of the only such venues of its ilk, but the Universal Lending Pavilion is quite simply an excellent fresh-air venue. Witnessing the show from our perfect seats right by the sound board, openers Tower of Power were as good as I've seen them in years. Give credit to the remarkably crisp sound system at the Pavilion. One of my biggest pet peeves with outdoor venues is loss of sound clarity 20 yards from the stage - an affliction not experienced at the Pavilion. But Mrs. Buzz could barely contain herself as she waited for Wales' prodigal son to make his entrance. At 65, he was belting out notes that performers half his age can't sustain in the thin air up here. Mrs. Buzz pointed out A Perfect Circle performance a couple years ago where Maynard James Keenan cracked hard going for one of his trademark high notes, and he's a singer with reputation for power in his voice. He's got nothing on the guy who sang It's Not Unusual though. Tom Jones elevated the temperature under the cool big top. Another lovely feature of the pavilion is the shade it provides under the sweltering summer heat. It's open enough that breezes flow through, but you don't have to worry about sunscreen - although the brilliant glare from Jones' presence might have negated that. Seeing the sweat pouring off his brow instigated our thirst, and we uncovered the only detriment to an otherwise excellent venue - the drink prices. Five dollars for a pint of beer is a little steep. Granted, it's par for the course on venues of this size, but here's a great opportunity for ULP to place itself one step above the rest. Regardless, it wasn't painful enough to dampen an otherwise amazing show. I have to tip my hat to the man who has stolen my wife's heart. He's a consummate entertainer, the likes of which are a dying breed in today's pre-fab-and-one-hit-packaged acts. Of course, stick them on the Pavilion's stage and they might blow the roof off too.