Schottenstein Centre Review - Columbus Call and Post

Tom Jones LiveColumbus Call and Post By Chris Bournea Contributing Writer Tom Jones recently brought his funky, soulful sound to the Schottenstein Centre. Although the concert fell on April 1, it was no time for fools. Jones proved that after four decades in the business, he is still a serious performer who has all the gyrating moves, the booming baritone and ample sex appeal. As has become his trademark, Jones was bombarded with under-garments. He took it all in stride, as if he is not only used to women's underclothes piling up on stage, he expects it. The 90-minute show was a retrospective of the Welsh entertainer's career, including signature classics such as 'She's a Lady' and 'What's New Pussycat' as well as new material such as the dance hit 'Sexbomb' and collaborations with hip-hop impresario Wyclef Jean. In addition to the 1960s pop favourites he is known for, Jones also lent his voice to blues legend Howlin' Wolf's '300 Pounds of Heavenly Joy' which Jones changed to '200 Pounds of Heavenly Joy' to suit his own physique. Jones also performed several gospel-tinged and country-flavoured numbers. After putting his stamp on Jerry Lee Lewis' 'End of the Road', Jones shared an anecdote in which he was hanging out with Lewis after a show in Las Vegas. As Jones related, Lewis said that he liked Jones' cover versions of his songs, high praise from an influential entertainer who is stingy with compliments. When Jones launched into another signature tune, 'It's Not Unusual' younger concert-goers undoubtably had to fight the urge to break into the silly dance popularized by Alfonso Ribeiro's 'Carlton' character on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Throughout the show, Jones demonstrated that he is still the consummate showman, at one point autographing a vintage 1965 album for a fan in the front row. He also showed that his confidence and cool swagger has not waned, working the stage like the seasoned pro he is. Jones kept the energy level high with frenetic dance moves and pelvic thrusts that elicited screams from the women in the audience. He closed with his funky rendition of Prince's 'Kiss' proving that at age 64, he is still finding ways to reinvent himself and breathe new life into familiar material.