(DTE Energy Theatre, Clarkston, MI – July 21st, 2011)
It's always a great time watching Jimmy Buffett perform! Heck, it's always a good time listening to Jimmy Buffett CDs as the bright sunshine cascades down, and the margaritta's flow like water! And tonight was no different as both aspects of a JB experience were on show from about 4pm onwards!
From around that time, the parking lot at the open air concert was packed full with partygoers galore! Extravagant costumes, tropical attire and so much alcohol it could stop a shark from fifty feet away. The show itself was over 6 hours away and yet 95% of the adoring fans were already starting to get prepared for it!
Once inside, as 'Don't Stop Believin' filters through on the speakers, the crowd instinctively knew that the great man's appearance was not too far away now.
As usual, Jimmy's opener Ilo Ferreira took the stage first @ 8.15pm and played three songs. A singer from Cape Verde, together with his high, beautiful voice (in much the same vein as a young Sam Cooke) Ferreira's acoustic music made you wish he hadn't stopped at just three!
Now with a hundred beach balls flying overhead, tshirts being shot out of handheld stage cannons, the baking 100 degree heat relentless above our heads, 'Tequilla' comes over the speakers - which gets everyone frenzied to say the least! And then, at 8.35pm, and to the stage sounds of Buster Poindexter's 'Hot Hot Hot,' his devoted base of fans known as "Parrotheads" raised their collective voices as one to welcome the man himself to the stage.
He kicks things off with 'The Wino And I Know,' which features a nice touch with the backdrop being a New Orleans street car ... named Desire! "It's great weather for a ragtop day," he says, before going into, of course, 'Ragtop Day.' As the barefooted-Buffett continued to bring his delightful, and colorful 2011 tour to the masses, he also brought his usual back-up ladies to brighten the stage in front of the 13-member Coral Reefer Band!
"This is like taking in a steam bath and a show at the same time," he jokes, talking about the incredible heatwave. "This is my 25th sold-out show here at Pine Knob," he continues, and he truly seems to still be enjoying himself greatly.
'Off To See The Lizard' is next, before he comments on how low the stage is (re: his recent fall off stage in January during a concert in Sydney, Australia, gashing his head), "If I was to fall off today at least here someone would be able to catch me!"
Buffett's show is a combination of good ol' fashioned JB staples ('Come Monday,' 'Cheeseburger In Paradise,' etc.), covers (Bill Withers), and collaborations - such as Zac Brown Band's 'Knee Deep.' Buffett then talks about one of his first gigs that he ever played in Detroit, at the now-gone Raven, an old blues joint, before the lovely Nadirah Shakoor performs a Caribbean version of Withers' 'Use Me.'
The novelty song, 'Why Don't We Get Drunk' is sung next, and Buffett relates the story of a woman he knows who sent her boy to school one day with that album, not knowing the song was on there! The mother quickly got a stern call back from the school!
'Margaritaville,' complete with it's "lost verse" included is next, before guitarist and vocal harmonies expert Mac McAnally sings 'A Pirate Looks At Forty' and then gives us an acoustic verson of 'Back Where I Come From' - which Kenny Chesney has also recorded.
With the show coming to its first end, the heat was still so relentless and the cameras on stage showed the overly-packed parking lot of people - all happy, all drunk, all in love! 'Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes' is next, before 'School Boy Heart' and 'Fins' (the 24th song of the night and the one where he had a senior moment - as he calls them - for he sang the first verse, then the third verse, then the third verse again!) are the last songs before the encore.
Coming back out quickly enough, the first encore is 'It's Five O' Clock Somewhere,' before he goes into 'Brown Eyed Girl.' The second encore is another acoustic number, this time 'Growing Older But Not Up.' He then thanx the audience for allowing him to keep doing his wonderful summer job, wishes us all safe travels and a good night ... and is then gone, for another year, at least.
Reviewed by: Dave Efimoff & Laurie Messina
Photos by: Dave Efimoff