I never realized that sitting in the Ravinia Pavilion I would have to duck to avoid flying objects as if I was sitting down the foul line in Wrigley Field. Yet the flying objects at Ravinia were not errant fly balls but errant flying panties being hurled towards the stage. The target of their trajectory was none other than the legendary “sex-bomb” Welsh crooner ”Tom Jones.
At age , 69, Tom Jones still had the ladies swooning from the moment he arrived onstage . Deeply tanned, wearing an all black suit sans tie with open neck and a shiny large silver cross dangling around his neck Tom Jones had the appearance of a Las Vegas showman. His schmaltzy getup and set , was supported by a strong fleet of musicians three vocalists a strong keyboardist Frank Strauss and his music director Ric Fierabracci on guitar.
He moved easily through many of his legendary hits including “She’s a Lady” and “Delilah”. The rich soulfulness of his voice was evident during his slower ballads. Many new songs from his first album in 15 years to be released in the USA.,”24 hours” were performed.
Shortly into his performance when he sang “I’m Alive” he reminded the audience that he felt “it was appropriate” that he sing that song. A load laughing roar filled the pavilion. Though aging, Tom Jones is more than alive. He is energetic ,vibrant and can still swing and swivel his hips rousing a response from his adoring audience. He hasn’t seemed to have lost his sex appeal . With “What’s new Pussycat?” rows of ladies stood on their feet and twirled panties above their head. More than a few made a run down the aisle toward the stage and with a pitcher’s wind-up they hurled their undies over the security guard towards the stage. Those who were successful were cheered by the audience. As one red satin panty lay at his feet ,Tom looked down and coyishly remarked “oh my”. He kept on course swiftly moving through his setlist.
After a two hour run without intermission Tom revealed he still had the moves and stamina to entertain, sing and keep the ladies titillated by his moves albeit a bit more muted than in his youth. At the concert’s end, though surrounded on stage by an array of multicolored panties ,that seemed like wildflowers growing in an English garden. Though showered with female adulation, the consummate showman left the stage alone.
[Submitted by Jessica Tinianow]