Legend Tom Jones Plays Two Philadelphia Shows: Non-Comm and TLA

Tom Jones performing at Non-Comm 2013, Phila P, Photo by A.D. Amorosi for Glamorosi Magazine
Tom Jones sang at Non-Comm on May 16, will play the TLA on May 17

Last night, Tom Jones did the unusual. In a room filled with music industry professionals and radio programmers at the 13th annual Non-Commvention at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, the nearly 73-year-old Jones amazed a crowd that has seen and heard everything. All he had to do was use his soulful, handsomely burnished voice in ways powerful and subtle. He'll repeat that trick tonight, May 17, with "An Evening with Tom Jones" concert at South Street’s Theater of the Living Arts (aka TLA, 334 South St., Philadelphia, PA).

Despite the fact that women in the audience were ready to throw their underwear at the white-haired belter, this wasn’t the swaggering Jones of the Swinging 60s or even the 90’s era Jones who made an electronic hit of Prince’s “Kiss.” The Tom Jones that hit the World Cafe Live stage (3025 Walnut St., Phila. PA) for Non-Comm had a small, tight band and sang mature and often holy songs from his last two albums, 2010’s Praise & Blame and 2012’s Spirit in the Room.

Starting off with a heatedly emotional take on Leonard Cohen’s cool “Tower of Song,” Jones made passion his calling card throughout his brief set while regaling the crowd with stories about Philly (“I’ve been coming here since 1965”) and Spirit in the Room contributing songwriters such as Paul McCartney who first wrote for Jones in 1969 with “The Long and Winding Road.” Jones still beats himself up for no recording the song, remembering that his then-record company didn’t want a ballad as his next single

Mostly though, Jones sang heartily, hungrily and beautifully on songs such as Odetta’s rousing “Hit or Miss,” Blind Willie Johnson’s stirring “Soul of a Man,” and the psychedelic R&B of Mickey Newbury's “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In).”

After having been the cocksure crooner of songs like “What’s New Pussycat?” and “Delilah” for so long, Tom Jones' role as blue-eyed soul’s elder statesman fits him like a glove.

For more info on Tom Jones at the TLA:

Photo ©A.D. Amorosi for Glamorosi

Posted on Friday, May 17, 2013