Jimmy Buffett at Xcel Energy Center, 12/3/13

Categories: Last Night
Photo by Tony Nelson

Jimmy Buffett
Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul
Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Jimmy Buffett began his career as a memorable and talented country singer in the 1960s before he was catapulted into the status of the most-respected and revered master of beach-themed rest and relaxation. To this date, he has 29 studio albums listed in his discography along with 14 live albums and 69 singles. Undoubtedly, he is one of the most revered and respected figures in whatever the fuck you want to call what he does, having collaborated with contemporary country artists such as Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, and Martina McBride.

Back for the first time since 2004, the object of many Parrotheads' affection took the stage to a roar of applause, opening the show with a medley of "Songs From St. Somewhere." His yellow swim trunks and blue shirt swayed back-and-forth to the island rhythm before moving into a percussion heavy cover of Van Morrisson's "Brown Eyed Girl." Buffett wore cuffs of yellow, green, and red, perhaps representing his love of reggae.

See Also: Slideshow: Jimmy Buffett at Xcel Energy Center

Barefoot and wearing a thick white guitar strap, Buffett looked sun-kissed and healthy on gigantic televisions on each side of the stage, which provided a more intimate view. The on-screen interaction between the ruler of the Parrothead nation and his band appeared like the Late Show with David Letterman if it were hosted by Paul Schaffer. Or a more pleasant Terry Bradshaw - or another bald guy. We all tend to look the same.

Photos by Tony Nelson

After a bit of stage banter about hockey, his fans nodding affirmatively to his every word, the 13-piece band kicked into a flawless rendition of "Boat Drinks" in front of a giant picture of a harbor, then cruised into his 1974 anthem, "Pencil Thin Mustache." Plastic grass skirts ruffled in approval as the backdrop screen shifted to a French Quarter style building. One man was so into the performance, he ran his groin into the railing dividing the stairs. Or maybe he was just distracted by the giant beached boxcar prop on the stage.

Fans continued to bob their Parrotheads through "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes" and "Havana Daydreamin'" A couple wearing Hawaiian shirts and multicolored leis embraced as they beamed with joy. "We'll be handing out excuse notes after the show," Buffett joked to the crowd. "A lot of people don't show up to work after seeing us, right Professor Utley," nodding to his longtime keyboard player before working into jokes about Alan Jackson, his collaborator in the recording of their next song, "It's Five O' Clock Somewhere." Despite Jackson's absence from the stage, the song was well-received.

Near the middle of the set, Buffett and the cheerful Coral Reefer Band also played his most recent duet hit - the bluesy tune, "Too Drunk to Karaoke." As Toby Keith was not present for the performance, the bearded Mac McAnally competently handled his vocal parts as the cowbell clanged on and on.

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