Written by Matt Matthews
May 05, 2011 at 08:00 PM
He was on my bucket list. One of the guys I absolutely had to see before I left this planet. But when I left the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion following the Jimmy Buffett “Welcome To Fin Land” show, I left feeling like I never got the full Jimmy Buffett Parrot Head experience. Maybe it was because I was seated under the pavillion (great seats by the way, LiveNation, thanks!) instead of up on the hill where these types of crowds are usually the rowdiest. Or maybe it was my fault. Maybe I just wasn’t a big enough Buffett aficionado to appreciate the setlist. I will readily admit that most of my Jimmy Buffett knowledge comes from his 1985 album “Songs You Know By Heart” which only included songs from 1973 to 1979. This is probably why I recognized less than half of the songs played that night. But in Jimmy’s defense. 7 songs out of what is often considered “The Big 8” hits were played. Apparently with the popular success of the Alan Jackson duetIt’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere“, it has ousted “Why Don’t We Get Drunk And Screw” from that short list of must-hear fan favorites.

It was a great treat to see Mac McAnally, 3 time Grammy Award winning Musician of the Year with Buffett and The Coral Reefers. Mac played all night next to Jimmy and was featured for a rendition of “It’s My Job” specially dedicated to US Navy Seal Team 6. He also joined Buffett for “Railroad Lady” and one of my very favorites, “A Pirate Looks At Forty”.   The Coral Reefers were sounding spot on musically but included a bit too much forced banter with keyboardist Michael Utley

In the end, the “Welcome To Fin Land” show did not measure up to what I expected the Jimmy Buffett experience to be. I should probably catch another show before I form too strong an opinion. Probably somewhere along the Gulf Coast or perhaps even The Keys. Oops, nope… unpack the Hawaiian print and Sombrero Fin hats, Parrot Heads. The Coral Reefers are booked through the end of the year in such exotic ports of call as Detroit, Chicago, Cincinatti, Pittsburgh and oh look… Toronto? The only warm locale is Vegas but you’ll have to wait until October.