Anyone wondering why Jimmy Buffett hasn't visited the Pacific Northwest in nearly a decade (the last time was on 2003's Tiki Time Tour) got an answer at Key Arena last night: The man performs in jams and bare feet.
It's a poor excuse for the many Parrotheads who braved the chilly October night in Hawaiian shirts and flip flops, and Buffett, the quintessential beach bum, was apologetic. "It's great to bring the Lounging At The Lagoon tour to Seattle," the 65 year old said shortly after stepping on stage in blue beach shorts and a faded blue tee. "By God, we did make it back to the Great Northwest."
Backed by longtime ensemble The Coral Reefer Band, Buffett spiked the show with regional references that warmed over the beach ball tossing, 50+ crowd: The topic of Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier led into "Volcano," a conversation about Dick's Drive In (naturally) led into "Cheeseburger in Paradise," and tropical anthem "Boat Drinks" was preambled by a breezy jab on Seattle weather. "The season of cabin fever is coming," Buffett joked. "We have to vaccinate you against cabin fever!"
Living on island time has been kind to Buffett, who sported a glowing tan and laughed his way through classic songs like "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes," "Come Monday," "Pencil Thin Mustache," and a rousing cover of Crosby Stills & Nash's "Southern Cross."
"It's Tuesday night and you're starting the weekend early!" the singer commented halfway through the show, hamming up the crowd's many beer-sloshing fans destined to call in sick to work. Such is the vibe at a Jimmy Buffett show, and Parrotheads left and right were eager to soak it up.
Buffett and his band will wrap up the near year-long Lagoon tour, coinciding with the release of Welcome to Fin City: Live from Las Vegas 2011, in Las Vegas this Saturday.