On the last show of the summer leg of his “I Don’t Know Tour,” celebrating his 30th season playing at the Xfinity Center and the 40th year since releasing his album “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” Jimmy Buffett put on one hell of a party.
The sold-out show featured Parrotheads young and old singing along to Buffett’s hits and his well-known covers, and swaying to the wisened stories he offers in just the right place on the setlist.
For almost two hours, Buffett — who performs with his 11-person Coral Reefer Band and this year introduced an acoustic segment with the members of the bluegrass band Daphne Blue and the Show Ponies -– spun stories to music before a towering screen backdrop that illustrated the stories with photos, movies clips or just lapping waves to evoke an oceanfront ambiance.
Starting the celebration right off was a rousing version of the hit “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitude,” before Buffett moved into “The Tiki Bar is Open” and “Pencil Thin Mustache,” his New Orleans-esque number that featured a hearty trumpet solo intro.
Thanking the audience for “raising your children on this music,” Buffett rolled along with solid versions of “Growing Older but Not Up” and “Son of a Son of a Sailor,” which included a beautiful solo by back-up singer Nadirah Shakoor.
Most of Buffett’s hits generate an upbeat Caribbean vibe — “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “Jamaica Mistaica,” “Fins” and “Margaritaville” always get the crowd roaring in approval — but he is at heart a raconteur. Barefoot and 70 years old, strumming his guitar to songs like “Come Monday,” which is as close to a ballad as he gets, “School Boy Heart” and “A Pirate Looks at Forty,” Buffett was joyful and entertaining.
He was also generous with the attention on stage. At one point, he left the stage entirely, giving the spotlight to guitar player Mac McAnally for a searing take on the Allman Brothers song “Little Martha.” McAnally also delivered Alan Jackson’s vocals in a cover of Jackson’s “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” and his song “Back Where I Come From.” McAnally wrote the song, which was later covered by Kenny Chesney.
The two-song segment with the band he called “Daphne Blue and the Show Ponies,” of which Daphne Blue was the baby blue Stratocaster guitar he strapped on, was somewhat of a lull in the show with “That’s What Living Is to Me” and a medley cobbled around “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes” and featuring enough lap steel guitar and accordion sounds to be an entirely different rendition.
The former song, he mentioned, was one of the songs played in a venue in New Zealand where Mark Twain had performed in the 19th century, thus fulfilling something on Buffett’s bucket list.
Buffett covers of “Southern Cross” by Crosby, Stills & Nash, “Knee Deep” by the Zac Brown Band and “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison were as hot as his own songs as he seemed invincible number after number.
His three-song encore — which included “One Particular Harbour” and a cover of The Wailers’ “One Love” were loaded with personality and downright fun to experience.
View the full set list below:
- Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes
- Thank God The Tiki Bar is Open
- Pencil Thin Mustache
- Growing Older But Not Up
- Son Of A Son Of A Sailor
- Come Monday
- Take The Weather With You
- Cheeseburger In Paradise
- It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere
- Jamaica Mistaica
- Little Martha
- That’s What Living Is To Me
- Landfall, Miss You So Badly, Tampico Trauma
- School Boy Heart
- Knee Deep
- A Pirate Looks At Forty
- Back Where I Come From
- Southern Cross
- Brown Eyed Girl
- One Particular Harbour
- LOve And Luck
- One Love
- Nautical Wheelers