Russell Blackstock is a senior reporter at the Weekend Herald and Herald on Sunday.

Sir Tom Jones sends fans into a frenzy

Tom Jones performs at Vector Arena. Photo: Garry Brandon/Vector Arena
Tom Jones performs at Vector Arena. Photo: Garry Brandon/Vector Arena

It's not unusual for Sir Tom Jones to send females of a certain age into a frenzy.

Even at 75, the suave Welsh charmer with the famous cheeky smile had his fans magnetised as soon as he stepped on stage at Auckland's Vector Arena.

In recent years, Sir Tom has been working hard to shake the hip-swinging image that helped make him a world superstar and instead showcase his formidable vocal talents.

The blues, soul and gospel-drenched set at the Vector demonstrated his powerhouse pipes are still in great shape.

Before Sir Tom appeared, sections of the crowd got in the mood by bursting into an impromptu version of his classic Delilah, led by a group of youngsters wearing chest wigs, medallions and sparkly open neck shirts.

Tom Jones thrilled the crowd. Photo: Garry Brandon/Vector Arena
Tom Jones thrilled the crowd. Photo: Garry Brandon/Vector Arena

When he hit the stage the veteran singer met with roars of approval when he strolled on in a natty checked jacket and launched into the raunchy Burning Hell.

He then thrilled the crowd with tales from the 1970s when he hung out with Elvis Presley in Las Vegas.

"Elvis was staying at the Hilton, I was at Caesers Palace and we'd stay up all night ... him singing all these great gospel songs and me just listening".

And before belting out a swing version of his worldwide anthem Sex Bomb, he told the crowd: "It's great to be back in Auckland and we are gonna have a great time."

As he launched into guitar and drum-heavy cover of the John Lee Hooker classic Burning Hell, it was obvious this was not simply a "best of" concert. His stirring rendition of Elvis Presley Blues was further evidence of that.

Sure some of the old crowd-pleasers were wheeled out, including Delilah, It's Not Unusual and Sex Bomb, but it was Sir Tom's soaring voice which took centre stage most of the night and sent the fans home happy.

Sir Tom now travels across the Tasman to continue his world tour.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 28 Sep 2016 15:50:14 Processing Time: 737ms