Saturday, Sept. 7, 2009
Jones is a consummate performer who cut his chops in Las Vegas, and he
is awesomely adept at providing what the audience calls for. Wearing
all black, with his shirt open wide so everyone could see a healthy
swath of chest criss-crossed with gold chains, he wiggled his fingers
at the audience, growled unabashedly into the mic like an oversexed
tiger, and favored the screaming crowd with enthusiastic pelvic
pumps. Audience members with swinging grey ponytails blew plumes of pot
smoke into the Warfield's atmosphere while women sang along to the
lyrics and crushed towards the stage.
Jones is promoting a new album, 24 Hours, and while he sang a few
tunes from it, he also dipped into an archive of covers, singing
Howling Wolf's "Three Hundred Pounds of Joy," after which he told the
audience with a knowing laugh, "I'm actually two hundred pounds of
heavenly pleasure." They did not disagree.
The tight hour-and-40-minute show culminated in what the
audience had undoubtedly paid for: a string of Jones' greatest hits
belted out one after another. It would be hard for even the most
cynical concert-goer to resist his hip-swinging renditions of songs
like "It's Not Unsual" and "She's a Lady" and the obvious fun he was
having while singing them.
There was no mistaking what Jones
referred to when he sang the line, "I'll soon be kissing your sweet
pussycat lips," and smooched his fingers with a wet smacking sound.
"I'm a dancer, too," he told the audience and took a turn, throwing
off his jacket, its silk crimson lining flying across the stage.
At one point a woman near the front passed him a note written on
hot pink stationary. Jones teasingly asked her if he could read it out
loud before carefully placing it behind him. This was a welcome piece
of unrehearsed audience interaction. Jones, a man who
undoubtedly has a treasure trove of stories to dip into, otherwise failed to
regale his fans between songs.
Jones closed with covers of Bananarama's "Venus" and Prince's "Kiss." The songs were fitting reminders to younger music fans that the singer's brand of highly sexual,
silly, Las Vegas cockiness paved the way for all kinds of modern onstage
While I did leave with my panties, I also left with a new
respect for the singer.
Random detail: Jones unfurled the flag of his homeland, Wales, at the end of the show. It has a bitchin' dragon on it.
By the way: Pretty much any show can be infinitely improved by a brass section that coordinates jazz hands.