It might be the day before Thanksgiving but my thoughts are still from last night where I saw Jimmy Buffet and his Coral Reefer Band live at Madsion Sq Garden. It was a surprise to of seen him at all as I was not planning on attending but got a very welcome last minute text from my cousin Debbie who had an extra ticket and asked "would I like to see Jimmy Buffet tomorrow night at Madsion Sq Garden for free". I guess Christmas came early as I gratiously excepted and met her before the show in Penn Station.
I had seen Jimmy Buffet previously on this his "summercool tour 2009" at Jones Beach back on August 26th. That show was at the beach, in August with a 10 hour tailgate party that was epic in its own right, preceding Jimmy's concert. For this occasion I drove into the city and had not any cocktails where you could only imagine what kind of state I was in back in August after a 10 hour tailgate...but I digress.
The atmosphere before the concert at MSG was not even a tenth of the electricity and comraderie found at the Jones Beach show all for logical reasons. This show was the last in his "summer tour" and it was Nov 24th. The traveling band of marauders known affectionatly as "Parrotheads" were possibly too tired or too cold to make it into a party. The attire of the "parrot heads" was generally of casual winter clothes with an occassional hula skirt, but people were reasonably dressed for a 49 degree day in November. The occasion at the Jones Beach show was soley Jimmy Buffet, where in New York City so many things are going on at once that to be honest there were a lot more commuters scurrying to catch their trains then were parrotheads parading around. You really had to look for them as they were mostly found packed into the bars scattered around the Penn Station concourses.
At 7:45pm we entered the arena and first place we (they...) went was the ladies room. Madison Square Garden might be a great place to view events but it was certainly not designed with the intention of females to be there. There was only one womens room in the area we were in. Needless to say the line was eternal. Once they got out we went to our seats which were behind the stage (hey they were free...). The section we were in seemed to be not of parrotheads but more like a "comp" section which was still fine by me.
Jimmy Buffet came out at 8:15pm and greeted the audience. Since I was behind the stage the viewing screen reversed all images so now I was watching a left handed Jimmy Buffet play the guitar which I found fun since I play guitar left handed...(See set list below)...
List and order of songs performed
1. Lage Nom Ai 2. Stars on the Water 3. Summzercool 4. It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere (w/Mac) 5. Boat Drinks 6. Conky Tonkin’ (w/Nadirah) 7. Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes 8. Volcano 9. Cheeseburger in Paradise 10. Come Monday (The Beach Band) 11. Son of a Son of a Sailor 12. Brown Eyed Girl 13. One Particular Harbour 14. A Lot to Drink About (Acoustic)
15. My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink and I Don’t Love Jesus (Ukulele version) 16. Last Mango in Paris 17. Nobody From Nowhere
18. Jamaica Mistaica 19. Let Me Love Again (Ilo Ferreira) 20. Gypsies in the Palace 21. Surfin’ in a Hurricane 22. Southern Cross 23. A Pirate Looks at Forty 24. Margaritaville 25. Fins
26. Last Man Standing 27. We are the People our Parents Warned us About
28. Defying Gravity (Solo)
The stage was set up as a Tiki bar with a screen showing images as the backdrop. I know this because I saw it as I walked in but from our vantage point all that could be seen was the entire band and the left top of their faces. Accompanying Jimmy was on Piano Michael Utley, Robert Greenridge played the steel drums (a heck of a lot better then the guy I heard on the #7 train platform at times square...lol), Peter Mayer on lead guitar and his brother Jim on the bass. One of the more laid back but solid drummers Roger Guth, on the trumper John Lovell, a kind of homecoming was for Ralph MacDonald a Harlem native who played some sick Bongos. Vocally Jimmy had two wonderful singers Tina Gullickson a sultry blonde who also played some guitar, and Nadirah Shakoor who belted out some notes that would rival the best Divas out there. Mac McAnally also plays guitars and has been writing some of the newer songs with Jimmy. On Steele Guitar is Doyle Grisham and on slide is Sonny Landreth.
The show started out a little slow with "Lage Nom Ai", and "Stars on the water" being received as well as can be expected, considering a multitude of reveling parrotheads still finding their seats (probably all coming from the bathroom). Jimmy commented about the summerzcool tour and was giving it some energy commenting on how this was the last show on this tour and as far as he was concerned his weekend was starting now with nowhere to go tomorrow. He then performed Summerzcool. From there the band and Jimmy got the crowd going with "Its Five O'clock somehwhere" having Mac McAnally singing the parts done on the CD by Alan Jackson. Mac did admirably but the performance does show what Alan Jackson brings to the table.
Saying it was now hockey season and he was doing a summer tour they then went into "Boat Drinks" emphasizing the line "I want to go where its warm". The next song featured the fantastic voice of Nadirah and then he just went into high gear with Buffet hit after Buffet hit with "Changes in Latitiudes", "Volcano", Cheeseburger, Come Monday, Son of a son of a sailor, and then he covered Van Morrison's staple " Brown eyed girl". He finished the first set with an acoustic version of a new song "A lot to drink about" depciting the struggles in the world and the economy over the past year which was well received.
The intermission had a number of artists doing the Bob Marley Classic "One love" on a video screen with each scene depicting a different person playing the same song...ala a universal jam if you will. It was pretty cool.
The beginning of the second set was done with not nearly the intensity that the first set had. The end of the second set got going with Southern Cross followed by Pirate looks at 40, Buffets national anthem margaritaville, and finished wth fins...
He did one encore with the band and then finished the show with a second encore alone on the stage performing Defying Gravity.
The show was a delight and ended at 10:55pm. Not bad for a soon to be (born on Christmas day) 63 year old.....