Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Jimmy Buffett Experience

So that happened.  Another thing I can check off my list of things I've never done.  And this one is two fold.  One was to experience the concert tailgate, the other is to see Jimmy Buffett.  I know it's hard to believe at 48 years old that I've never done a tailgate.  Its not that I don't listen to bands with that kind of loyal following, its just that I've never been associated with friends that want to tailgate.  But this time is different.  I have a friend who had an extra ticket to Jimmy Buffett and asked me to go with her, and I said yes.  Mostly for the experience.  I have to admit that prior to the concert I was not what you could call fan.  I only remembered one song, the Margaritaville one.  Oh and the Cheeseburger in Paradise one. . .oh and that one about Monday morning, you know the love song, Come Monday, and the one about the Volcano. .  and well you get the idea.  Turns out that even people that aren't admit they are true Jimmy Buffett fans know some Jimmy songs.  So while I was the virgin on this tailgate, and my name badge proudly proclaimed me as "The Woman To Blame", I threw myself into my first concert tailgate.

And let me tell you, it was not as wild as I was afraid it might be, which is frankly fine with me.  Don't get me wrong there were wild ones out there.  It did have its moments of good old fashioned lets get the girls drunk and have them play games like:  Show us your tits or kiss a woman Plinko, and there was a nice group of men who had a shower you could use if you felt the tailgate grime, of course it was a topless shower.  And while I smiled at 'boys being boys', and looked on with the rest, you'll be happy to know I did not join in.  Absolutely not my style, while I have low self esteem, I do not have attention or daddy issues.  That is private fun, and I'm afraid you have to earn that with me.  Other than the drunk people, who are very entertaining to watch, there were a lot of just great people.  Most in costumes ranging from grass skirts and Hawaiian shirts, to full garbed Pirates and their first mates.  Some groups even had matching t-shirts with sexy and 'punny' nick names on the back.  Even the cars were decked out with shark fins and painted windows proclaiming their 'Buffett Bound' or Fin status (Fins to the left!)  Grilling with my tailgate group of about 5 or 6 cars, and hanging with the Pat-Heads or Parrot-Heads as they were that day, was very good fun.  We played games, and drank more than normal.  It was an overcast day, and even with sunscreen I'm still red on my face, should have kept my straw hat on.  oh well.
The concert itself was a great show.  He's an old music biz legend, and has the money to put on a good show.  lots of pretty lights and four big screens at Alpine Valley, which he took advantage of.  No lasers or fireworks or big rock star special effects, but it none of that would have felt right either.  With the 30, 000 people in attendance he somehow managed to make it intimate.  Not an easy accomplishment, but one he managed to pull off as easily as you and I do breathing.  I know he couldn't see me. up on the 7th party deck, stage right of the huge seating arena, and beside the famous sloping field that is Alpine Valley.  But it didn't matter, if felt like he was telling me every story before every song, and singing every song right to me. . . The Woman To Blame.  I sang along where I could, danced to the island beat (my favorite part and my legs hate me), and drank and thought of the ones that got away, the life mistakes I've made and WWJD or "What Would Jimmy Do"
And the answer?  Well, I need a boat, and an island, and tequila to really show you, and like Jimmy I feel like a pirate born 200 years too late, and that there is always a woman to blame, and a cheeseburger in paradise would go down really good right now.  And I know come Monday everything's alright, but I still want you back by my side.

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