Last Show of the Year

Last Show of the Year

LAS

LAS


While I don’t consider myself a “Parrot head” in any sense of the word, I did have a wall clock, in a place at the coast, and I kept that clock set to 5:00 PM. Island time? Considering how little I drink, besides caffeine, makes it more amusing. The people attending the last Buffett show this year, supposedly, there wasn’t much ethnic diversity, essentially being a lot of drunk, white people. I’m guessing 50,000 or more. Looked like the auditorium was sold out.

Perhaps the most telling was a young man, had short hair, and the requisite floral print shirt, most of which skewed towards flamingos this year, and that one kid? He had one of those ear lobes with the giant gauge piecing? Only, instead of a bone, or stick, or whatever that kind of pointed metal stud that’s a few inches in length? Kid had a white golf tee.

How many people were wearing their work clothes? I was. Something I wear to my day job on a regular basis. Floral shirt with pink flamingos, and a bandana, again, festooned with flamingos.

Missed the first opening act, some woman with guitar, singing country, and my ticket said, “Special Guest Huey Lewis,” but it changed and was an old name — originally from Texas.

Boz Skaggs closed his set with a Chuck Berry cover but previously had much 70’s soul funk in his works. Some old, some off the new album. Good, entertaining, 45-minute warm-up.

One of the floor security guys, slim, trim, certainly darker skin than most — maybe all — of the patrons, that one guy was almost imperceptibly keeping time with the Boz Skaggs’ songs.

Last Show of the Year

Then came Jimmy Buffett and his Coral Reefer band.

“Southern guitar armies,” lead by The Allman Brothers, and that ilk? Marshall Tucker Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the Outlaws? All from the South, and all feature a minimum of two lead guitars, right? Hence the taxonomy, “Southern guitar armies.” Odd question, unrelated, do the Drive-By Truckers also qualify for this category?

The Southern Rock Guitar Armies, from the days long past? Therein is a partial clue to the problem with the bulk of Buffett’s canon, Country? Rock? He did detour and perform some Bluegrass, but mostly, he’s his own genre of beaches, boats, and ballads.

The tour’s namesake, “Son of a Sailor” marked that album’s 40th anniversary. There’s a timeless nature of good material, never goes out of fashion. He opened with a modified-for-Vegas version of a country classic, presaging the current crop of Hot Country music. While, according to the internet, the song was written about Livingston Montana, having been to Livingston, TX, thinking I fished there, I just imagined it was about that little town. Bit provincial of me, I realize.

While he was singing, or the auditorium was singing, about the last mango in Paris? I realized my connection and affinity, the nature of the storytelling. For almost as long as I’ve been actively listening to Buffett’s beach music? I’ve been writing horoscopes, tiny stories, each week, and that’s one reason the music — and its style — resonates with me.

The other people? I’m less sure. Perhaps an excuse to drink boat drinks. My old recipe for boat drinks was (dark) Myer’s Rum, orange and pineapple juice, shaken, not stirred.

Years ago, I read material either by or about Mark Cuban and how he wanted to turn his Dallas Mavericks into an experience, not just a basketball game. While I’m totally unsure if it was by design or happy accident, that’s what a Jimmy Buffett show is about — it’s a total experience, music, the crowds, drunk white people who can’t dance, the costumes. One show in the old Dallas location, Fair Park, I recall the parking lot a mass of people, wherein the show before the show is as important as the show itself.

Last Show of the Year

In line before the last Vegas show, a guy in a grass skirt and coconut bra, he rubbed his plastic bra on the back of the lady in front of him. “You’d be surprised, the number of people ask if they can touch them,” he said, indicating his slight plastic breast augmentations. Went with his grass skirt. “I ask if I can touch theirs, but the wife frowns on that.”

Not politically correct, and mostly not political. Steel drums and steel guitars, country-rock-reggae, all in one. With a single, soulful lament from an early B-side, and a jukebox staple for years? “Why don’t we get drunk, and screw…”

Last Show of the Year

Why Las Vegas is a better venue? By the time we wended our way towards the penny slots, at the opposite end of the casino complex? No one noticed. Or, not much. While waiting on my date, outside one women’s restroom, machines clanging and gamblers cheering the roll of the dice, two younger women were lounged at slot machines, looking at me a little hungrily.

“Hey, Jimmy Buffett!”

I replied that I was in my work clothes, to which one of the women, suggested she worked with no clothes at all.

“Word.” All I could say. Been close to 20 years since I was last propositioned in Vegas.

Besides, I was parked outside the women’s toilet, obviously waiting on my date.

Last Show of the Year

Detailed elsewhere in my wandering miscellanies, there’s a story about ripping a then-new Buffett CD onto an iPod and listening while fishing, and being blown away by the one Grateful Dead cover.

What Jimmy announced in stage banter, with a four months off, he’s going to drop a new album.

In the words of another Capricorn singer-songwriter?

The road goes on forever, and the party never ends.

astrofish.net/travel

  • Aperture: ƒ/1.8
  • Camera: iPad Pro (10.5-inch)
  • Focal length: 3.99mm
  • ISO: 25
  • Location: 36° 5′ 51.56″ N 115° 10′ 7.82″ W
  • Shutter speed: 1/12048s

Kramer Wetzel

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