British crooner Tom Jones may not be as young as he used to be, but on Saturday night he showed that you don’t have to be young to rock Tel Aviv.
The longtime sex symbol played to a full house of 7,500 at Nokia Arena, cycling through a quality set list R&B classics, including Chester Arthur’s “Evil,” and Three Dog Night’s “Mama Told Me Not to Come.”
He continued with songs from his recent albums and wrapped up an energetic performance with hits like “Delilah” and, of course, “Sex Bomb.”
Amid reports that anti-Israel groups had pressured Jones to cancel his concerts here, he said he came — on what is his second visit — because “I was asked to come… The people wanted me to come.” He said entertainers “should be able to entertain in any country that wants to see them, regardless of politics.”
Sir Tom is one of the most successful singers of his generation, with 36 Top 40 hits in the UK and over 100 million records sold.
A miner’s son with a powerful baritone, he’s also managed to reinvent himself several times over, hooking up with rising younger artists over the years including Prince and Wyclef Jean, sang on “House” TV star’s Hugh Laurie’s first “Let Them Talk” album, and performed at last year’s diamond jubilee concert for Queen Elizabeth II.
Tickets to the concert, which received excellent reviews, ranged from NIS 250 ($70) to NIS 1,800 ($500).
He’s set to play another set at Nokia Arena on Monday night.