By Brent Thompson
If Father Time really exists, then Jimmy Buffett isn’t taking his calls. On Tuesday, April 17, the 71-year-old Mayor of Margaritaville bounded youthfully across the stage during his two-hour, 26-song set at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Alpharetta, Ga. Backed by a stalwart band that includes CMA-decorated musician Mac McAnally, Buffett gave Peach State Parrotheads the hits they paid to hear.
Well-worn Buffett staples including “Margaritaville,” “Fins,” “Volcano,” “Pencil-Thin Mustache,” “Son of a Son of a Sailor” and “A Pirate Looks at Forty” rang alongside familiar covers including “Southern Cross” and “Take It Easy.” A surprise show-stopping moment occurred when McAnally took over the stage for a dizzying solo rendition of Duane Allman’s open-tuned opus “Little Martha.” Island and coastline video images – coupled with Atlanta-specific footage that drew cheers from the sold-out crowd – provided the onstage backdrop for Buffett and his Coral Reefers. Opening act Caroline Jones played a spirited, brief set and later joined Buffett for a duet version of “Come Monday.”
Simply put, a Jimmy Buffett concert still provides the kind of escapism that many of us seek, even if it’s only for one evening. Your doctor was back in his office today, but last night he sported a coconut bra. And your lawyer? Well, she donned her grass skirt.
The show was Buffett’s first performance at the Alpharetta venue but something says it won’t be his last. In addition to his self-proclaimed “summer job” of amphitheatre-hopping, Buffett will co-headline shows with The Eagles in Miami, Minneapolis and Denver this year.