Fan Review by Esther Trost First, let me start off by saying the concert at Alte Oper was my fourth Tom Jones concert overall. The first two concerts were in 2002 (Munich and Ludwigshafen) and the third last year at Rockhall Luxembourg.
I still remember my first, real notice of Tom: 1994 on MTV with ‘If I Only Knew’. 21 years ago I was 14. It is kind of funny that I’m still not perceived as the ‘target audience’ but after this concert I can safely say: I was then, I am now and I probably will always be.
I did have the luck to broaden my perspective on Tom Jones in later years (after ‘The Lead and How To Swing It’ and ‘Reload’) by joining a then, very active mailing list on Tom Jones and by that I came to love the then not so contemporary songs. Some of them will always be very dear to me so the current set list of songs is in my personal opinion: perfect. It combines the past, the present and hopefully the future.
Now on to the actual concert review:
The Alte Oper in Frankfurt is a really beautiful classic venue - a place that seems like it is made for a Tom Jones concert. At 8pm and on time, the band came to the stage and started off with 'Burning Hell', great song for the entry of Tom to the stage. With flames on the background screens it set the mood for the audience: music on fire.
Afterwards: 'Mama Told Me Not To Come’, ‘Didn’t It Rain’ and ‘Don’t knock’.
The next song 'Tomorrow Night' is absolutely one of my new favorites. It was part of last years Luxembourg show, as well and I still remember that it only took a few chords to pull me in. It’s so beautiful and hearing it you think that it could be a classic Tom Jones song. I love it.
Next on ‘Why Don’t You Love Me‘ - to which most of the audience would agree: we still do.
Another favorite: 'Raise A Ruckus'. Very fun song that works perfectly with Tom's current band. It makes you want to stand up and dance.
Not slowing down the next song on the itinerary is ‘Sexbomb‘ - the songs arrangement with Tom’s current band is quite different than the original song, but it suits the song, the band and the current era of Tom Jones so much better. Watching Tom and the band on stage, playing off each other so well, having fun - I know I sound like a record on repeat: perfect. You get the feeling that they really enjoy what they do and it transports to the audience right from the start.
Next songs: ‘St. James Infirmary Blues’ and a song Tom has owned from the early years ‘I’ll Never Fall In Love Again’ — followed by 'Shake A Hand’, which is another favorite of mine on the current set list.
Then it is time for another classic: ‘Delilah’ and afterwards ‘Elvis Presley Blues’ and ‘Soul Of A Man’.
Now onto a song I will never get tired of hearing: ‘Tower Of Song’. Even before hearing Tom’s personal opinion on that song, that it is the song he wishes he had written - I remember thinking it is his. I did know it isn’t but… it is. It is unbelievably beautiful and fitting. Sadly it also makes me think about a time when at some point I won’t hear it again live - I dread that moment and I wish it to be in a very distant future. It makes me want to stop time and hold on to the moment.
The set moves forward with another three Tom classics: ‘Green, Green Grass Of Home’, ‘It’s Not Unusual’ (the one song to listen to, when you are down, because you can’t listen to it without being happy – really, try it) and ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On’. I probably shouldn’t enjoy that song as much as I do, but…I do. I have often wondered why Tom Jones has the magnetic pull of Tom Jones even to this day - I don’t know the answer yet, but his mix of presence, the obvious ability to not take himself to seriously, but still performing his more emotional songs with unbelievable earnest - one can’t help to be pulled in.
The following song obviously makes me happy, as it started my history on Tom. ‘If I Only Knew’. Honestly? Just keep singing, Tom. THAT makes me love you.
The next two songs ‘Crazy bout An Automobile (every woman I know)/Reelin’ And Rockin’ and ‘I Wish I Would’ end the set with a great send of by the band. It’s so good, that you almost don’t notice Tom leaving the stage…almost.
Loud cheering ensues and we wait for an encore.
We get it - with ‘Thunderball’, ‘Kiss’ and ‘Strange Things’. The concert ends with Tom introducing his wonderful band. Although he may be my main attraction, I hope that this band stays with him for the future - I don’t think there is anything I would wish to be different. Great musicians, wonderful arrangements and so much fun to watch: Thank you, Tom and Band.
Lastly, I’m writing this review on tuesday after the Munich show. After Frankfurt I decided that I can’t wait to see another show, so I booked a ticket for Tom at Tollwood and to make a long story short: I’m so happy I did. Really - the trip was totally worth it, so thank you again, Tom and Band. Two hours of literally blissful happiness.
If there was another chance I guess I’d take that, too. Hook, Line, Sinker. :)
Burning Hell, Mama Told Me Not To Come, Didn't It Rain, Don't Knock, Tomorrow Night, Why Don't You Love Me, Raise The Ruckus, Sexbomb, St. James Infirmary Blues, I'll Never Fall In Love Again, Shake A Hand, Delilah, Elvis Presley Blues, Soul Of A Man, Tower Of Song, Green, Green Grass Of Home, It's Not Unusual, You Can Leave Your Hat On, If I Only Knew, Crazy 'bout An Automobile (Every Woman I Know) / Reelin' And Rockin, I Wish I Would
Thunderball, Kiss, Strange Things