Written by Dave Clements
It had been raining for days with widespread flooding in many parts of the Greater Houston area. I couldn’t think of a better distraction in the field of entertainment to come in and provide Houston with a little ‘disaster relief’ for the body and soul than Mr. Jimmy Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band. Jimmy’s infectious smile and fun, feel good music was just what the doctor ordered for the 19,000 plus sold out crowd at The Woodlands Pavilion that Saturday night.
Although I personally was spared by the rising flood waters many that I know were not so fortunate. I was feeling down from the bombardment of more rain after more rain yet as I drove away from The Woodlands after the show with a little more bounce in my step and a definite feeling of ‘glad I was there tonight’.
Jimmy’s shows are amazing and I’ve been blessed to have seen several now. His ‘Parrothead’ legion of fans are even more amazing! It’s more like a giant beach party for young and old than a concert. It’s a time to get ‘different’ than your everyday life and carries a sense of community like none you’ve ever seen.
From the first song he sang, Summerzcool, the beach balls started flying and they were in perpetual motion for almost 2 and a half hours through 28 songs, an intermission, an acoustic set and an encore. This year’s tour is called the ‘I Don’t Know’ Tour because when each member of the band was asked what to call the tour the consensus was they didn’t know what to call it. It makes perfectly good sense to me!
What I do know is the guy is fun and his smile and songs are what everyone needed this night and they got it all evening long.
There were some sobering moments when things weren’t ‘party down’ as Buffett paid tribute to Blue Angel’s Pilot Capt. Jeff Kuss whose photo was shown in tribute to his service in The Armed Forces. Capt. Kuss had died two days before when his jet crashed as he was preparing for a Blue Angels Show.
A photo was also shown of boxer Muhammad Ali who had just died the day before the concert.
And the toughest one for me was when JB played ‘Take It Easy’ as a tribute to the Eagles’ Glenn Frey. It still saddens me to think about Frey’s untimely death and on some level Jimmy’s tribute to him helped me in my grieving process.
Back to a happy note, I got to witness a guest bongos player for Margaritaville…none other than Houston Texan’s Number 99…you got it. JJ Watt. He has been showing up a lot of places off the gridiron. The crowd and I enjoyed seeing him enjoying himself and letting all his fan’s enjoy him, with a margarita in hand! (JJ, I know, it was actually just lemonade…)
Buffett played many of my favorites including Van The Man Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl, Come Monday, Son Of A Son Of A Sailor, Changes In Latitudes , Fins (and yes Jimmy clasped his hands overhead to create his FIN as did all in the audience!) And the show wouldn’t have been complete without Cheeseburger in Paradise, It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere and Crosby, Stills & Nash’s Southern Cross. Buffett also performed a bonus song he had not sung in concert in over 10 years called In the Shelter.
Summing it up, it’s a guaranteed good time. Do yourself a favor and GO if you’ve never been to one of Jimmy Buffett’s parties, before it’s too late. And remember there’s no time to kill.