El Paso review

Booming baritone Tom Jones cuts loose at PlazaBy Diana Washington Valdez / El Paso Times

Tom Jones swaggered with the best of them Tuesday night at the Plaza Theatre, moving provocatively at times on the stage, and finally letting loose when he peeled off his jacket.

"Help Yourself," the second song he performed, was familiar. Then, as he promised, he went on to sing newer and older favorites.

His audience included people of all ages, and especially adoring women who cheered at his every mischievous gesture.

And yes, besides the requisite gifts of flowers, at least one woman managed to toss a pair of underwear onto the stage.

TJLIVE4 copyJones, filling the place with the rich, booming baritone voice he's famous for, belted out hit after hit from his vast repertoire of music. He was supported by an 11-member band of musicians and backup singers. The audience yelled with appreciation when he sang "She's a Lady," "Delilah," "Black Magic," "Fly Me to the Moon," "SexBomb" and "What's New Pussycat?" "The show was spectacular," said Penny Andersen, a lawyer and longtime Jones fan.

"This was my first time seeing him in person. I think my favorite song of his is 'She's a Lady.' "

The Jones concert had sold out when Andersen tried to buy a ticket, but because of the heavy demand, the Plaza was able to make more seats available.

Besides his raw and passionate delivery, Jones is noted for his ability to sing with soul.

Evidence of that are songs such as "Green, Green Grass of Home," "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" and "I Like the Way You Move,"

Joy Riley, 87, kept an earlier vow to get to the concert. She saw Jones the first and only other time he performed in El Paso, decades ago.

"I really enjoyed the show. He was wonderful," said Riley, a former secretary to four University of Texas at El Paso presidents.

During Tuesday night's show, Riley wore a silver-colored jacket and approached the stage as near the entertainer as the ushers would allow.

She was pleased when he came onstage for an encore after closing with his first hit, "It's Not Unusual."

How best to describe the Tom Jones concert? Mix Frank Sinatra, James Brown and Julio Iglesias together, then add a bolt of lightning, and you have it.