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Review by Robert Gillis, published in the Boston City Paper 8/2006

Jimmy Buffett and the 2006 Coral Reefer Band

At the Tweeter Center (It will ALWAYS be Great Woods) Night One

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Set list: Singing in the Rain; Hot Hot Hot; Brown Eyed Girl; I Will Play for Gumbo; Pencil Thin Mustache; It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere (w/Mac); Grapefruit-Juicy Fruit; Come Monday; Floridays; Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes; Nothing But a Breeze; dedicated to friend in Quebec; Cheeseburger in Paradise; Why Don’t We Get Drunk; Party at the End of the World; One Particular Harbor; Peanut Butter Conspiracy; Star Spangled Banner (Jake and Robert Greenidge); The City (Mac); Knees of My Heart; Window on the World; Son of a Son of a Sailor; Coastal Confessions; Werewolves of London; Desperation Samba (Halloween in Tijuana); Dixie Chicken (Little Feat Cover); Volcano; Margaritaville

Video of tailgating in Mansfield that day.

First Encore: Fins; Southern Cross

Second Encore: A Pirate Looks at Forty (w/Mac and Jake)


This is a party I should have attended a lot sooner! I have been really missing out on this rite of summer. In a word, In-cred-ible.

Jimmy Buffett – There is absolutely no denying that the man is a legend who has found his niche. His shows are legendary, they ALWAYS sell out, and they boast a tailgate party that is unrivaled.

In fact, for many “Parrotheads” (Jimmy Buffett fans) the actual concert is almost an afterthought. Show goers arrive six to eight hours before the concert and begin setting up elaborate tailgate parties. There are trailers, tents, mobile homes, palm trees, dunking tanks, generators, and full grilles, Tiki huts, blenders full of Margaritas, more trees, inflatable parrots and sharks, grass skirts, Hawaiian leis, straw hats

And an ENORMOUS amount of alcohol being consumed.

In fact, the only comparison that can be made to being at this party is probably Mardis Gras on Bourbon Street. Of perhaps Spring break in Cancun.

(debauchery: noun. A wild gathering involving excessive drinking and promiscuity. diversion; recreation, celebration; festivity, merrymaking; conviviality; jollification revel; revelry, orgy, drunken revelry)

There were not any orgies going on, but the word debauchery is otherwise perfect – for this is indeed a wild gathering involving excessive drinking, celebration, festivity, and drunken revelry.

And despite the lack of orgies, the air is sexually charged. Hard bodied young gals and guys walk around shirtless (or in the case of the ladies, in bikini tops, tie dye shirts or coconut bras) and in sandals, grass skirts and straw hats. And of course, there a great many older folks who are not exactly in shape, who you wish would cover up.

You see a lot of skin in the parking lot. it’s pretty sexy — But none of it is offensive or obscene; clearly everyone is here to party.

The food smells great; there’s steak and all sorts of other gourmet cuisine cooking on the huge grills but the big attraction is the drink.

Sadly, besides the band and staff, Sue and I were probably one of the few sober people in attendance. The “frozen concoctions” are flowing freely all day and by show time a large percentage of the crowd is very drunk.

For many, it’s too much.

There was the woman who literally spent the ENTIRE show with her head down on a table – she was so drunk she was barely conscious. And the man Sue saw, passed out on the stairs.

While I certainly worry about all these people getting on the road after the show, what surprised me is how well behaved everyone was. This was no drunken fight scene – there was a wonderful prevailing air of good feelings, as the animated and happy crowd danced, sang, and cheered all night. It was truly a nice party to attend. The age range is from young children to much older folks. It’s a bit wild but you never feel threatened or unsafe. It’s a beach party, and a happy one. A LOT of people overindulge, but hey, it’s Mardi Gras.

Jimmy Buffett took to the stage barefoot, in a blue T shirt and Yellow shorts. The background was a painted view of the beach, and the feel good beach party began. Buffett put on an amazing show. You never see a performer who spends the majority of the evening smiling, looking so happy, and clearly having a wonderful time. He clearly loves this gig; he kept thanking US and at one point he thanked us for, “40 years in a summer job I never imagined..”

Everyone was on their feet, beach balls bouncing around, and the lawn folks sitting in the rain and not caring. The Party had begun.

A review in the Friday Herald complained that a Buffett show lacks spontaneity and the fans just want to hear the old hits – but this was not accurate. Buffett has a new album coming in October and peppered his nearly three hour set with a generous sampling of the new material, which was well received by the loving crowd. And the inclusion of Jake Shimabukuro of Hawaii, who plays the Ukulele like Jimmy Hendrix on a guitar –is simply phenomenal.

The entire show has a reggae, Caribbean island club feeling, and every song is breezy, pleasant, or makes you feel like you’re at a beach party. We haven’t danced at a concert so much in a long time!

Some highlights:

Buffett NEVER calls “The Tweeter Center” by that name – it is always “Great Woods,” the original name. The band has such a wonderful relationship and history with Great Woods. He said that the band travels all around,” but they love coming back to Great Woods, ”

and there’s a reason for that!”

In the past decade, Buffett’s FOUR shows at Great Woods sold out in minutes – every year. Now he’s taking it a little easier and only doing two shows, still sold out.

I got Goosebumps (really) when Buffett played “Come Monday.” I was 10 years old in 1975 and listening to that song on my transistor radio – it was my favorite song for many years.

I LOVED the constant references to local places. Buffett loves the New England area. His boat was built in Southwest Harbor Maine and he dedicated the song “Son of a Son of a Sailor” to the builder. The tattoo in “Margaritaville” was, “But it’s a real beauty, a Vineyard Haven cutie

” In “Werewolves of London,” he changed “Soho” to “Cambridge,” and so on. This was VERY well received by the appreciative crowd.

Like I said before, Buffett spends the entire show smiling. He loves doing this. Other performers his age (59) have retired or just “phone in” a show for the money {cough} Rolling Stones {cough} but Jimmy Buffett does this because he loves it. He loves the fans, he loves to play. Man, does it show!

He said that he loves that people bring their kids to the show bout “Never considered myself a family band.” He went on to explain this poised a real dilemma with the next song, “Get Drunk (and screw),” which he sang as “Get milk and Moo,” “Get lunch in School,” and finally used the real title. It was hilarious.

For “Desperation Samba,’ Buffett spoke of the allure of “Trashy Mexican border towns” and added that, “Some of you will take Advil and go to work tomorrow, but some just might drive to a trashy Mexican town.” The crows cheered and Buffett indicated it had really happened: “I’ve got postcards!”

Because of the rain and lightning, Buffett didn’t take a break and continued to play 28 songs for almost three hours. I was choked up during the song, “Margaritaville” because it was my Dad’s very favorite Jimmy Buffett song, and twice I yelled out, “This is for you, Dad!” It felt good. “Southern Cross” was phenomenal.

“Cheeseburger in Paradise,” ditto.

(Jake and Robert Greenidge playing an acoustic Star Spangled Banner had the crowd singing the words. In-cred-ible)

I was very touched by Jimmy taking so much time afterward to shake hands with the crowd and sign autographs. I liked how much he talked to us during the show. This gig is clearly not “a job” for Jimmy Buffett.

Start to finish, the show was a joy. And despite the pricey tickets, we’re going to make this party an annual event. I still have no intention of over-indulging and drinking to oblivion, but it would be nice to come earlier next year and cook steaks and people-watch and enjoy the fiesta.

I’ve always liked Jimmy Buffett, but last night’s show converted me to a “Parrothead.” Hope to see you at the party again, Jimmy!

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