Jimmy Buffett at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 05/29/2014
Photos by Violeta Alvarez
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
May 29, 2014
When I grow up, I want to be Jimmy Buffett.
Dude has everything. At 67, he runs around in bermuda shorts and worn old T-shirts, singing about the lives of sailors and beach bums while his adoring fans known as "Parrotheads" flock to his concerts in droves. They even coordinate their shark-themed dance moves to his music, and down Landsharks while doing so. It has got to be an awesome life.
At least it sure seemed to be last night at Cynthia Woods, when Buffett took the stage on the Houston stop of his annual tour. Surrounded by Hawaiian shirts and bouncing beach balls, he was as one has come to expect: all smiles, and all hits.
From the tiki palapa-covered set onstage to the barefoot backup singers and the beautiful -- and surprisingly not cheesy -- scenes of blue oceans and white-sand beaches rolling in behind him on the big screen, Buffett's show managed to turn the landlocked Woodlands into an insta-beach-party. It was pretty impressive, considering late May is usually quite swampy and not at all beachy, for the most part. But somehow, Buffett even talked the unseasonably tepid air into cooperating.
Those Hawaiian-shirt-clad Parrotheads sure cooperated too, which only added to the ambiance. As he rolled into radio hit "Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes" and a cover of Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" were in the first few songs, those hard-partyin' fans were in full effect, dancing in the aisles and shakin' their geriatric groove thangs. I've never seen so many silver foxes get stern reprimands from security, but apparently that's just how it goes at a Buffett concert.
That's the thing, though. When a Jimmy Buffett concert is in full effect, it's like nothing anyone outside that exclusive Parrothead tribe has ever seen. Beach balls are prevalent at most outdoor concerts, including Buffett's, but matching beach-themed attire, shark hats, and religious, day-long tailgates are not.
Rumor has it that those tailgating fools were out in the designated parking lot -- yes, there is indeed a designated area for some serious early-morning drinkin' and BBQ'in' -- were out there setting up shop at 8:30 a.m., which is impressive considering the likelihood of a tailgate pre-party the night before.
And every other person in the audience had on some funky version of either a) a shark hat, b) a shark fin hat, or c) a shark-shark fin-fruit-themed hat. To have the kind of pull as a musician that entices grown-ass folks to dress up like tourists in the Caribbean must be epic.
Not that Buffett uses that power for evil, mind you. He plays right into the beach-themed madness of his shows. Clad in full regalia -- in his case, flip-flops, neon yellow trunks, and pink T-shirt -- he's obviously amused at the naughty drunken antics taking place.
Review continues on the next page.