We’d been waiting nine years for their return to our neck of the woods. When I heard tickets were going on sale in September there was no question that we had to be there.
And why is that, you may ask? It’s because Jimmy Buffett and his music represent a state of mind – a happy, jolly, carefree state of mind. He is a prolific storyteller and his stories are about sailing, flying, family, partying, and living a crazy life in Key West, Florida.
I first heard of Jimmy Buffet when I spent a year in south Florida as a 19-year old beach bum. Jimmy’s fifth album, A1A, had just been released in December 1974. It’s been called “gulf and western” music. A little bit twangy, but it also includes the infamous “A Pirate Looks at Forty,” which remains a Jimmy Buffett classic. Wiki says, “The song contains the bittersweet confession of a modern-day pirate [insert = drugs] as he looks back on the first 40 years of his life and ponders his future.”
Two weeks ago we were not disappointed. We put on our “land shark” visors, leis and Hawaiian shirts and headed to Key Arena. The mood was whimsical with all things tropical, including many “parrot head” hats (Google it), beach balls, hula skirts and coconut bras. The stage resembled a lagoon and the screen behind the band played a video of mermaids swimming around with Jimmy.
I can’t name all the songs in the set list, but they were mostly old favorites that I have been singing for the last 35 years or so. Jimmy’s music appeals to many age groups – I wasn’t surprised to see the twenty-something woman right in front of me singing along through the whole show too.
For over two hours Mike and I enjoyed “island escapism” and we loved it! Next time we hope he plays at the Gorge and I might even wear my hula skirt and coconut bra. But for now I’m headed to Margaritaville for a Land Shark Beer and singing… “If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane!”