Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Land Shark

... ... ...OK! Apparently not, but I'll get back to that later. Tonight Jimmy Buffett is coming to Pittsburgh and is playing out at Starlake. No, I refuse to call it by it's new corporate sponsor name. Starlake will always be Starlake, just like Pizza Outlet will always be Pizza Outlet and the Civic Arena will always be the Civic Arena (well, at least until they tear it down next year).

Last year was my first experience at a Jimmy Buffet Concert. I'd never been to one before and have always heard that they were a really good time. Prior to last year, I wouldn't even say that I was a Buffett fan. I knew a couple of his songs. They were fun and catchy, but I always kind of got a annoyed when Margaritaville would be played somewhere. not that i didn't like the song, but everybody always chimes in at the chorus, but never knows the rest of the song. I've always found it kind of obnoxious. Kind of like WVU fans when Country Road is played (Secret: John Denver was singing about Western Virginia, not West Virginia). But that is neither here not there.

The point is, I went to Jimmy Buffett last year for the experience, not the music. I went to party for 4 hours prior to the concert and have a blast drinking during. I went to have a good time. What I came back with was a memories of a truly enlightening experience.

Parrothead (definition): A drunk 50 year old corporate executive stumbling around in a grass skit and coconuts, beer bottle in hand and a funny looking hat, being helped around by an equally drunk and stumbling 22 year old in a Hawaiian shirt, no pants and half a margarita spilt on himself.

This trend knows no bounds. It crosses the generation gap faster than a naked man running through the Hills of West Virginia screaming "I'm not your little piggie!" I had an absolute blast. And when you're having such a good time and drinking away, you have no control over it. You just get caught up in the music and the experience. You have no choice but to love it. After the concert, I took my wife out to buy a couple Jimmy Buffett CDs (after several days to sober up of course). What Jimmy Buffett does is give a middle age person an excuse to act like an 18 year old college freshman again, if only for one night. It gives the younger crowd just one more excuse to party. And it give everybody in the middle and opportunity to escape live and get away from the house and the kids and just be free. It's a whole different culture, and they accept everybody.

Now back to the top of my post. Last year we tried to get friends to come and join us, and were received with half-hearty interest. In the end we had no takers. After the concert, and telling them about how much fun it was, people seemed genuinely interested. They all were for doing it the next time. This year, I told all my friends about the concert several times and when tickets went on sale, nobody bit. A couple said they were disappointed that they forgot, while others said "eh, I'm not really a Buffet fan." And that was just the kind of image I was tying to dispel. You don't need to be a Buffett fan to have a great time. You don't have to like his music. It's an excuse to party, and much partying we did. This year I hope for an even better time, and I know we're going to have blast and party with a lot of unique and interesting people. But I am sad that I won't have any real friends there to share it with.


  1. I know I wrote a couple articles years ago about the Stones concerts we've been to. I should dig them out and post them. It had a similar thrust, that a good concert is an excuse to party and feel young. So I definitely get that.

    As for not going... I do know five or so Buffett songs, so it's not as if I don't like his music. But the location is highly inconvenient, and it's on a Tuesday - not that I've never gotten drunk on a Tuesday. In fact, I'm thinking of going to see the Dropkick Murphys next Monday. That will certainly involve no small amount of Irish Whiskey.

    I think if it had been closer, and on a Friday or Saturday, I probably would have gone. But taking off work on a Tuesday to drive for an hour or so, get completely smashed in a crappy concert venue, and spend Wednesday wishing I hadn't had those last six shots of tequila... I dunno.

    Maybe I'm too old. Maybe I should have gone with you. Maybe I'll get drunk tonight anyway.

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