In my head I can still hear the crowd singing along with Jimmy Buffett. The 35,000 Parrot Heads sang along "Mother, Mother ocean. I have heard you call."
The fans sang the lyrics in time to the band, arms around each other's shoulders, friends, strangers weaving back and forth in time to the music and feeling all the emotion as if these songs were meant just for them. With the precision of a well rehearsed show, they danced, raised their arms up for Fins and sang every song from beginning to end. The crowd was drenched in their own sweat. They were sharing a moment in time. For over 2 hours, the smiles on the Jimmy's face were reflected back to him and his band. Back and forth, performers to audience. The performers stopping to watch the crowd, the crowd never taking their eyes away from the band.
If the show was indoors, would it be the same? No
Would it be enjoyable if we all sat in our seats and politely applauded? No
Can you explain to a non-Parrot Head, what the experience is like? No
Imagine capturing a fist full of thunder and holding on to it. Imagine 35,000 people of all ages and backgrounds swaying back and forth, arm in arm while Jimmy sang "Bama Breeze".
At the Bama Breeze
You're one of our own down there
You never drink alone down there
Good God I feel at home down there
We all have a Bama Breeze in our lives. For me it's a Saturday night at Alpine Valley with Jimmy Buffett.
We heard the boarding call and boarded Jimmy's pirate ship without hesitation. We rode the wind and the waves all the way to Margaritaville and back again. And just like last year and the years before that, the journey ended much too soon.
And somewhere along the way, toward the end of our voyage, Jimmy observed "This is special tonight." And indeed it was.
It will be months before we stop reliving the most recent voyage with Jimmy and longer still before we can listen to Bama Breeze without getting teary eyed because we all know how it feels, just to be a part of this experience. Fins up Parrot Heads, that Buffett Hangover lasts a long time.
Thanks for listening,