Several months back we planned a big excursion to the historic Hollywood Bowl to see the legendary Tom Jones in his debut performance. And the day finally arrived!
It was Tom Jones' debut performance at the legendary Hollywood Bowl. (07/22/06)
Besides Tim and I, we had our friends Jon and Amy, Amy's sister Ashley, Tim's co-worker Wild Nancy and her boyfriend, and our friend Laura G who flew down from the Bay Area specifically for this event.
I picked Laura up from Long Beach airport at 8:00 a.m. (if I thought I had it bad, it was nothing compared to Laura, who lives so far from any major airport that she had been up since 3:00 a.m. to get here). After running a few errands, Laura took a nap while I cooked my usual picnic fare: my cold chicken pasta with asparagus, grapes and a balsamic vinagrette dressing.
Ashley, Amy, James, Laura and Jon at our pre-performance picnic. (07/22/06)
We met up with Jon, Amy and Ashley just after 4:00, which gave us plenty of time to enjoy a nice relaxing picnic before the 8:30 showtime (Nancy and boyfriend were no-shows for the picnic). The other advantage to getting there early were our prime parking spots a rarity in the parking-challenged Hollywood Bowl.
The only major drawback that day was the incredible heat. Man was it a hot day. Fortunately we found a fantastic picnic spot that was shaded from the broiling sun.
Amy, Ashley and Tim look forward to Tom Jones. (07/22/06)
We played cards, told dirty jokes and even swapped cookies and wine with the crazy middle-aged women at the table next to us. We even got a chance to glimpse the Union-Jack-clad underwear they planned to toss on stage. They were a riot!
The ladies at the neighboring picnic table wave the undies they planned to toss on stage. (07/22/2006)
Opening for Tom Jones was the Pete Escovedo Orchestra, featuring, well, Pete Escovedo, and his family (including daughter Sheila E). They were pretty good.
Shortly after their set, Nancy and her boyfriend Dave showed up. They were literally sopping wet from having made the long walk from the parking lot to the Bowl itself in the sweltering night-heat. She brought cheesecake and other treats, including chocolate covered strawberries that were floating in the melted chocolate. For a kick, Amy used the melted chocolate to give herself a Chocolate Sanchez moustache, which had us rolling in laughter.
Amy uses the melted chocolate-covered strawberries to do her imitation of Chocolate Sanchez. (07/22/06)
Tom Jones was great! He pretty much performed the same set that he performed at the May 2005 and December 2005 concerts I saw, with a few exceptions. Instead of Sex Bomb, he sang his latest hit single Stoned in Love, and he substituted the sentimental Mam & Dad's Waltz with the equally sentimental Love Letters. While not as intimate as some of the smaller venues where I've seen him, it was nonetheless a fantastic show.
Tom Jones on the Hollywood Bowl stage. (07/22/06)
If you're interested, check out Jon's review of the performance or Laura G's summary of the same day.