Review / photos: Jimmy Buffett returns to the stage at Tampa's 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre
On Saturday, the 1-800-Ask-Gary Ampitheatre in Tampa was transformed into a Key West town all its own. Jimmy Buffett kicked off his 2011 Fin Land Tour, and the sold-out show was active with party-going Parrot Heads that always seem to know how to have a good time.
Buffett is known to sell out shows. His traditional "I can turn any venue into oceanfront property" music filled the packed house. This is the first Buffett show I've attended, and while I am no where near a Parrot Head, I do enjoy his mood music. Mix in some alcohol and beach balls, and you have a good time. (Although it seemed security was a bit tight on beach ball enforcement. At the end of the night I think I counted 23 confiscated beach balls, and every time a ball was snagged up, a large "Booo!" filled the air. What do they do with those balls after the show, anyway?)
This is his first show since Buffett exited stage "front" in Australia, falling several feet and resulting in an overnight stay in the hospital. There were no slip-offs this time around, though I couldn't help but notice it would have been practically impossible for anyone to fall from the front of the stage. The odd stage design had equipment packed right up to the center of the stage. I have to feel this was done intentionally, and during Buffett's performance, he didn't walk anywhere close to the edge of the stage.
To fans' liking, however, Buffett recounted his dizzy mental state and pointed out where his head and elbow were sliced open. He debuted new lyrics to his song Off to See the Lizard about his January fall. "This is a new song I wrote about that night and my hospital stay," he said.
Other then that, the show went on as most fans would have expected. Drunk and loud Buffett fans ruled the night and turned Tampa into Key West for a couple hours. All the favorites were played and even some old tunes from the Volcano album, which Buffet prided himself on not playing live in many years. He sounded great, and for a night of Buffett fun, no one seemed to be disappointed.
After 26 songs he ended the night with the second encore, Lovely Cruise, and thanked everyone for coming out. See ya next year, Jimmy!
-- Andrew Carlton, tbt*