Thursday, April 27, 2006

An Evening in Margaritaville

Gosh, roughly 24 hours since I got back from seeing Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band at Shoreline Amphitheatre, and it's hard to believe I haven't said anything about it yet. [Possibly it's harder to believe that I've been blogging for the better part of a month, and haven't mentioned Mr. Buffett before!]

First, I guess I'd better come clean: I'm something of a Parrothead. I don't belong to any club, but I have lost count of the number of Buffett concerts I've attended, and I am known to wear colorful Hawaiian-style attire.

So, about last night: good show. I rather enjoy when Buffett tours when he's not promoting a new album, because he generally chooses to play some fun, older songs that might get aced out by something new and forgettable. Last night had a couple of fun covers: a version of the John Phillips/Mamas and Papas tune "California Dreamin'" and (because Bill Payne of Little Feat was sitting in) a delightful rendition of "Dixie Chicken."

Obviously, the show couldn't measure up to last October's hurricane-relief concert at the historic Fillmore Auditorium (where I was one of about 1200 people attending...awesome!). I'm still hoping Jimmy will put out a recording of that show. He covered tunes by Bob Dylan, Dave Matthews, Jimi Hendrix, and Neil Young that night in addition to some of his own classics (and a couple of Grateful Dead tunes, of course). Truly a memorable night.

Only real downside to this show last night was that the current edition of the Coral Reefer Band doesn't have a horn section. I think the horns add a lot to the sound, but the set list didn't include many tunes that truly need horns, so I guess that's how he justifies it. But A Pirate Looks at Forty just isn't the same without Amy Lee's soulful alto sax solo.

On the plus side, however, this was probably the best Buffett crowd I'd ever seen at Shoreline. The last time we went, the crowd was apathetic and sat through much of the show. Last night's crowd was up all night, dancing and singing. That was really good. It also helps that the staff and administration at Shoreline seem to have lightened up a bit, making the whole scene more pleasant.

And oddly enough, as I fell asleep last night, I was singing to myself a song that they didn't even play in the concert, a Mac McAnally tune called "Semi-True Story":
It's a semi-true story
Believe it or not
I made up a few things
And there's some I forgot.
But the life and the tellin'
Are both real to me
And they all run together and turn out to be
A semi-true story.
Which pretty much sums up any explanation of a concert you didn't attend.

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