A Buffett concert is an event. It’s a happening that involves a lot of tailgating prior to the show. As in hours of tailgating by thousands of people. In a lot of crazy island themed outfits. And I do mean crazy. Playing all sorts of games like limbo and cornhole. It all culminates at the end of the day with some 22,000 (depending on the venue) people pouring into an amphitheater to dance and sing along with Jimmy to songs they know by heart. Trust me, we know them by heart. Word for word. It’s pretty cool to hear thousands of people singing Come Monday all at the same time under the stars of a summer sky and the feel of a slight breeze. There is a lot of audience participation with chants such as, “Salt, salt, salt” during the chorus of Margaritaville and the waving of arms to the left and right in unison during Fins. The costumes carry themes from Jimmy’s songs such as boats, pirates, volcanoes and sharks. It’s one big celebration of relaxation and the need for vacation. Everyone is there to have a good time, and a good time is had by all.
Cincinnati is where the term Parrot Head was coined 22 years ago, so it is Parrot Head Central. Jimmy seems to have a fondness for Cincinnati and his fans there. He shows them a lot of love during his Cincy concerts and they reciprocate. He ALWAYS plays some fan favorites like Margaritaville and Cheeseburger in Paradise, but he changes up his playlist for each show and tries to throw in some old stuff that people love, too. My favorite moments come when he plays acoustic guitar on stage alone singing a slow hit. You can literally hear a pin drop when he does that. His last encore this year was acoustic and solo. He sang Tin Cup Chalice which is my very favorite Buffett song and is one song I’d like played at my funeral. It’s the first time I’d heard it live. Fabulous.
Is there a lot of drinking there? Yes. There are copious amounts of alcohol consumed, mostly at the tailgating prior to the show. There are some folks smokin’ a little weed, too. For the record, Hubby and I are not those people. The rowdiest folks seem to be the young college kids. However, the majority of people has a drink or two, shakes their coconuts to some music, meets some new friends and enjoys the people watching. Hubby and I are those people. It’s simply one day of the year where folks cut loose, act like fools and have a large time before they go back to the daily grind of work and bills. Care to take a peek?
The tailgating literally stretched for acres.
And people come from near and far.
Some come in style.
Others come in old stuff that has a style all its own.
My favorites are the ones with coconut bras and grass skirts.
The men, too.
They bring boats, sort of.
And grills. I mean big grills. Yes, those are bras hanging on the line. Don’t ask.
Some bring their recliners.
A few are even smart enough to bring their own bathrooms.
Because the potty line looks like this.
They set up tents.
And tiki bars.
And more tiki bars.
Don’t forget the limbo stick.
And never, ever go anywhere without your cooler...on wheels.
Of course if you forget it, the drinks will come to you. In a wagon with a fin.
The roadies visit the tailgating prior to each show, tape some of the hijinks and play the video at some point during the show. It’s always a hit, and some folks work really hard at trying to make it into the video. You have to stand out among the crowd to make it into the video. Imagine how hard it is to get noticed at these gatherings.
Tomorrow? A look at a few of them and some of the friendly folks we met along the way.