Jimmy Buffett Brings the Beach to Bristow

Jimmy Buffet performs on stage at Jiffy Lube Live with Mac McAnnally (left.)

The Jimmy Buffett show at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow had no pyrotechnics, no crowd-surfing and no light show, still thousands traveled from all over the country to attend Bristow’s biggest beach party. The most preferred mode of travel was the only ideal charter bus Illnois company  to ferry partiers to the venue.

This year the Buffett tour was aptly named, “This One’s For You” as his team considered the taste of the die-hard fans and  mixed popular songs party songs such as “Margaritaville,” “It’s 5 o’clock Somewhere,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and “Volcano,” with his more relaxing beach ballads such as “Changes in Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes” “Son of a Son of a Sailor,” “Come Monday,” and “He Went to Paris.”

Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band performed both well-known covers and lesser known original songs. Parrotheads appreciated covers of Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl,” James Taylor’s “Mexico” Crosby, Still’s and Nash’s “Southern Cross,” and Grateful Dead’s “Scarlet Begonias.” However, the band also covered newer hit that fit with Buffett’s laid-back beach vibe such as Zac Brown Band’s “Knee Deep.”

The Coral Reefer musicians also demonstrated their talent, and Buffett jokingly told audiences that no, they are not all members of his family, despite what some may have read on the internet.

Coral Reefers guitarists and vocalists Peter Mayor, Brendan Mayer and Mac McAnnally play along with Buffett.

However, Brendan Mayer, who is son of band member Peter Mayer, to whom, Buffett often referred to as the “history major,” performed his original song, the catchy “Something to Say.”, which proved memorable among the setlist.

And, Mac McAnnally, who is a writer, producer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, performed a lovely solo acoustic rendition of “Little Martha” by the Allman Brothers.

Among the musicians, backup singer Nadirah Shakoor stood out for her beautiful soprano voice, and the band achieved its island-influenced song with Robert Greenidge on steel drums and Roger Guth on drums and John Lovell on trumpet.

Meanwhile Peter Mayer and Tina Gullickson sang and played backup guitar to most songs while Jim Mayer played bass, and all the three of them, standing up front, along with Shakoor and Buffett, kept the party going.

Throughout the show, Buffett led into almost every song with a statement, most of the time personalizing the set for the Bristow audience. He referred to the northern Virginia traffic, a waterfront tavern he frequented in Newport News, and the Chesapeake Bays love of crab cakes and Old Bay seasoning.

Backup singers/dancers Tina Gullickson and Nadirah Shakoor perform throughout the show. 

And, after all these years, Jimmy’s voice still holds up, and most of all, he brought a fresh level of excitement to the show.

One fun surprise, during the encore Buffett interspersed “Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw” into his rendition of “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere,” but it wasn’t as shocking as the woman who lifted her bikini top in the band’s video photo album shot before the show.

On stage, the background, which alternated between moving images of the shore and tropical locations, and images Parrotheads tailgated, reminded folks at the show the various reasons why summer is their favorite season.

Buffett was his usual laid-back self, wearing a bright pink t-shirt, blue shorts and no shoes (perhaps he blew out his flip-flops.) While, the set onstage included a small tiki-bar with real beer taps, again reminding audiences that Jimmy Buffett is all about the life style.

However, as usual, the actual show was only a small part of the overall event. For many concertgoers, the tailgating was as much, if not more fun.

Landsharks Marleen and Bob Stowe were among the most dedicated Buffett fans, having followed him across the country.

Landsharks from Idaho, Bob and Marleen Stowe, explain that they were consulted last year when Buffett’s team was decided what to play on this tour. They told him to play more of his classic songs from older albums.

“It’s the old songs that got me to like them before this kind of following existed,” Marleen said.

Marleen was a Landshark before she met Bob, but soon made him a convert. This was Marleen’s 71st Buffett show, while it was Bob’s 45th. As the both of them are retired, they spend much of their time touring the country following Buffett and crew on the road.

“We have a 40 foot motor-home. We called it the land yacht,” Bob explained.

While they admit most shows are similar, they love the opportunity to travel and meet so many people. They also say it is a lifestyle, and they would follow Buffett anywhere because he has a song “for every circumstance in life. He has a phrase for every moment,” Marleen said.

And while most people know Buffett for popular songs like “Margaritaville” and “Cheeseburgers in Paradise,” she encourages fair-weather fans to listen to more of his repertoire.

South Carolina crew enjoys gator BBQ while tailgating.

The Stowe’s have been traveling for a year, and plan to travel to Paris this autumn to see Buffett play there. Like other Parrotheads, they say it is a unique experience to attend.

“The concerts are fun, because it’s a not a party, it’s an event; it’s something to experience,” Bob said.

But long-time listeners are not the only ones who travel out of their way to attend a Buffet concert; at Jiffy Lube Live. Jiffy Lube Live’s multiple parking lots were full of  Landsharks with similar stories of travels and parties, including those of all ages.

While many Jimmy Buffett fans were retirees, young 20-somethings also got in on the act, while many 30 and 40 year olds brought their children to the show.

Additionally, there were many first-time Buffett concertgoers in attendance, such as retired PWCS high school teacher, Jean Ellerby. Ellerby said that seeing a Jimmy Buffett show, because of its infamous reputation was something that was on her “bucket list.”

© 2014 – 2020, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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