Live: Jimmy Buffett

Are you nostalgic for the man made neon colors of the 1980s? Do you like songs written by committee? Would you like to support the Gulfstream (jet) habits of a barefoot billionaire?

Will you settle for 27 lifestyle songs formerly about permanent vacation, now adapted for the lifeless pursuit of a retirement that will never come? If you like ten-part echo and a 40-piece band giving it 40% of their all, you’ll be happy to know that no revolution will ever be jumbo-cast at the Woodlands Pavilion. For on these concrete slopes, beside a man made waterway, Jimmy Buffett made the devil’s bargain. He bought low and sold high.

$400 will (almost) get a family of four within a fourth of a mile of Jimmy Buffett’s stage. The artless rhyme schemes and uninspired couplets won’t dare move you. References to marijuana are now righteously repurposed to sell top shelf tequila and Billionaire Brand Beer. Lipitor, Flomax, the Bush tax cuts and the love of one’s second wife were the subtext. And in a crowd that dared not read between the lines, only a few still knew somebody who knew somebody who could get some weed.

Can’t you not clap in 4/4 time? Aren’t you not banal, overfed and bedazzled in Tommy Bahama and a fifth-rate fakeflower lei? Clap between the beats! Pretend you’re in awe! Admire The Artist not only for “doing it for all these years”, but also “for being a great businessman.”

So let conspicuous consumption and the confluence of art and commerce lift you up above circumstance and situation.  Sing along to songs you do not know by heart. Mix your medications! Tempt your feeble heart to burst, where $20,000 guitars flow like (official tour-licensed) wine. Where your bank account renders you bulletproof, you’ll drink with impunity. Where self-made men invent pseudo-Caribbean dance steps, the music will free the clogged hearts of beefeaters.  Where Parrothead parking and part-time posturing prevails, you can still recharge your batteries. You can still renew your vow to your oldest island dreams. Escape the golden handcuffs of Houston’s corporate climate, and the job that once set you free.

Because Johnny Paycheck died. Bud and Sissy paid for private school, and Gilley’s burned to the ground a long time ago.

Come, ye newly minted grandpas and GILFS. Come to the rising. Rise for whatever, but rise! Nevermind the metaphor, and let alone the licensing rights. Even if you long ago left the lawn-seats behind, you can still sing along with the chorus of every third song. Bone up on greatest hits and buy your tickets from the master, but take it however you can get it. Celebrate the high water mark whenever and wherever it happened.

Live review by . Live review posted Thursday, May 27th, 2010. Filed under Features, Live Reviews.

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