Tom Jones at the Beacon Theatre / May 25, 2023

It’s not unusual for Tom Jones to stage an outstanding concert in 2023 as he has across a career spanning seven decades. His concert at the Beacon Theatre on May 25 proved that his music has remained relevant and that his powerful baritone has retained its grand luster. His voice may the one to which all other vocalists must be compared.

Born in Wales, Sir Thomas Jones Woodward (he received an OBE in 1998 and Queen Elizabeth II knighted him in 2006 for services to music) has enjoyed international success since he performed “It’s Not Unusual” on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1965. His music output gained an edgy flair in the 1980s. His most recent mainstream hit in the United States was “Sex Bomb” at the turn of the century. In the United Kingdom, however, where he is a celebrity judge on the British version of The Voice, his 41st and most recent album, 2021’s Surrounded by Time, hit number one on the sales chart; it peaked at number 68 in the United States.

At the Beacon Theatre on his Ages and Stages tour, Jones performed with accompaniment by a rocking quintet. Without horns and strings, the songs lacked some of the flourishes of the original recordings, yet also allowed for reinterpreted arrangements. “It’s Not Unusual” introduced with conga percussion, had a slight zydeco feel, thanks to the accordion. “Delilah,” originally recorded with flamenco rhythms, now was driven by stinging electric guitar leads.

Jones sat on a stool for much of his performance, with close-ups projected onto the screen behind him. Video clips also accentuated the lyrics to his songs, including silhouettes of seemingly-naked women dancing during Randy Newman’s “You Can Leave Your Hat On” and images of blood running down the drain of a sink during the murder ballad “Delilah.” He connected repeatedly with the audience not by performing at the edge of the stage, but by drawing the audience to his warm personality between songs. Engaging anecdotes introduced many of the songs, like how he discovered a song on an album he bought in New York City, or how he and Elvis Presley attended a Chuck Berry concert together.

Jones’ set featured many of his best-known hits sandwiched between seven of the 12 songs on his most recent album. While the audience remained enthusiastic throughout the two-hour performance, clearly the most favorable signs of crowd approval followed the old hits, which had fans leaping from their seats to cheer. “It’s Not Unusual,” “What’s New Pussycat,” “Sex Bomb,” “Green Green Grass of Home,” “Delilah,” and “Kiss” roused the audience. The audience also responded heartily when he paid tribute to the late Tina Turner by singing a few bars of “Proud Mary.”

The primary success of the concert was how rich and robust Jones’ vocals sounded. Whether a rocker or a tender love song, his commanding vocals filled the room like no other contemporary singer. In 2023, approaching age 83, a listener could only marvel at how Jones’ booming vocal pipes are still in perfect working order.


  1. I’m Growing Old (Bobby Cole cover)
  2. Not Dark Yet (Bob Dylan cover)
  3. It’s Not Unusual (Les Reed cover)
  4. What’s New Pussycat? (Burt Bacharach cover)
  5. The Windmills of Your Mind (Noel Harrison cover)
  6. Sex Bomb
  7. Proud Mary (Creedence Clearwater Revival cover) (Tina Turner tribute)
  8. Popstar (Cat Stevens cover)
  9. One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below) (Bob Dylan cover)
  10. Green Grass of Home (Claude “Curly” Putman, Jr. cover)
  11. Across the Borderline (Ry Cooder cover)
  12. Talking Reality Television Blues (Todd Snider cover)
  13. I Won’t Crumble with You If You Fall (Bernice Johnson Reagon cover)
  14. Tower of Song (Leonard Cohen cover)
  15. Delilah (Les Reed cover)
  16. Lazarus Man (Terry Callier cover)
  17. You Can Leave Your Hat On (Randy Newman cover)
  18. If I Only Knew (Rise Robots Rise cover)
  19. Kiss (Prince cover)


  1. One Hell of a Life (Katell Keineg cover)
  2. Strange Things Happening Every Day ([traditional] cover)
  3. Johnny B. Goode (Chuck Berry cover)