t certainly was a "Five O'Clock Somewhere" mood when Jimmy Buffett played. Declaring the unofficial start of summer-not hard to agree with NYC in a 90 plus-degree heat wave -was the "fashionably" dressed party crowd that paraded outside and trickled into the arena. It's a rare sight to see parrot-heads, pirates and grass skirts shimmy down Manhattan's 7th Avenue (a.k.a "Fashion Avenue").
Drumming up excitement and anticipation indoors was the vibrant island music and T-shirt shooters spanning the stage in all directions, while a ridiculous number of huge beach balls bounced off the audience. Color set the stage-in the décor, music and attitude. Nothing was overlooked by the production team and the audience formed the backdrop with their own imaginative apparel.
Who could have guessed that at one time this multimillion-dollar "enterprise" known as Jimmy Buffett was broke and unable to get a gig? Today he's living the American dream, which is only one of the reasons he is so loved and admired. His attitude is one of positive thinking, fun and success, and he translates that to his audience in a way that could only be referred to as a gift. A gift of giving of himself and all the magic he's been blessed with. How else could you sell out the Garden with ticket prices exceeding the $200 mark?!
Gone was the intermission from last year's show...a good thing, which kept the momentum going and made this show as close to perfect as it gets. Summertime music abounded with "A Pirate Looks At Forty," and, of course, the crowd went wild for songs like "Cheeseburger In Paradise," "Boat Drinks" and "Fins," but it was Buffett's fun-loving, beach-y attitude that turned this into one huge tailgate festival in the city. Just the name Jimmy Buffett can put a smile on your face and seeing him live makes you forget about all the bad stuff (the beers in special JB Tour cups also added to the euphoria). "Son Of A Son Of A Sailor" prompted Buffett to share his tour of an aircraft carrier in (shown on the overhead screens) that he just returned from. "One day you're in Montauk, next day you're entertaining in the Persian Gulf. Who knew?!"
Buffett was then off to surf the waves in Montauk, one of his favorite spots. During the show, he made a point of mentioning friends in the audience who sailed in from Long Island Sound on their boats and anchored them in the Hudson to come to this show...now that's living the music and being in a Jimmy Buffett state of mind!
He pulls them in, young, old and everything in between - a man for all ages, professions and lifestyles. This is one man you don't tire of.