Aplscruf's Music Blog

Jimmy Buffett Live in Auburn September 16, 2003

It looks like August 2010 will be a slow month for shows.  Nothing scheduled.  I will continue to hunt down and post old concert journals…

Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band

White River Amphitheatre, Auburn, WA

September 16, 2003

P and I went to the Jimmy Buffett concert in Auburn.  There is a new amphitheatre on the Muckleshoot Indian Reservation called the White River Amphitheatre.  I heard it was beautiful, but the parking was a nightmare.  We decided to park at the Muckleshoot Casino and take a shuttle bus to the concert, which is only about 5 miles away.

We had to leave after work to start the long commute south.  I left about 3:30 and we took off from home at almost 4:30.  It was one of the drizzly gray days of the month, and the traffic was terrible.  We crawled along in the diamond lane.  It took about an hour to work our way to Auburn.  P and I hardly spoke the whole way down because he had to go to the bathroom and was tired.  He hated traffic.  I brought along a breakfast cookie, so at least I wasn’t starving.  I was also mad at him because he refused to wear his Hawaiian shirt, even though I told him we would be “underdressed” compared to the rest of the Parrot-Heads that attend Jimmy’s concerts.  This was our first one, so P didn’t really know what to expect.  He thought he would be too cold, and refused to even wear it under his sweatshirt.  I wore mine, even though I later had to pull on a wool sweater underneath it.

We finally made it to the casino around 6:00.  The concert started at 8:00, but I wanted to be there about 7:00 to watch the hula contest.  We were so hungry and thirsty, though, we decided to go into the casino and get some drinks and a snack.  Once inside, we quickly realized we were not the only ones going to the show that night.  We were definitely underdressed.  There were people with Panama hats with parrots, palm trees, junior mints, little planes, and flowers stuck all over them.  People wore their Hawaiian shirts and leis with pride, even though they had to wear sweatshirts underneath them.  I wore a pink lei, but P once again refused to wear his, even though I bought him a white one.  He stuffed it in his coat and later put it on after a few more drinks at the concert.  [Wow, he’s really not that uptight anymore!  He’s learned how to live it up a little and get silly.]

The crowd waiting outside the casino was immense.  We were about 100 people back in line, so we didn’t make the first bus.  There were supposed to be 3 buses, but they were so slow.  Later, we found a guy at the show who said he got to the casino at 7:00 and was 45 minutes late to the concert because he had to wait for a bus!  That’s terrible.  He was so mad.  We made it on the second bus (barely) and it took a good 20 minutes to get to the venue.  There was no separate bus lane on the two-lane road.  The traffic was a mess.  It was much less organized than the Gorge.

We got to the concert about 10 minutes before the show started.  I was mad we missed the hula contest and didn’t have time to look around.  We got some beer and food and found our seats.  That was another disappointment.  Our seats were so far back, Jimmy was only about 1/2 inch tall.  A lady in front of us was decked out in a foam shark hat, Hawaiian shirt, lei, etc.  She said she bought tickets one week after us and ended up one row in front of us!  I was pissed.  I usually purchase tickets the minute they go on sale.  She was funny, though.  she snuck in this 18″ tall margarita under her jacket. “For godssakes,” she kept saying.  She had been to 7 Buffett concerts and her husband, who wore a giant, red parrot hat, had been to 4.  They were quite the fans.  Really nice people.  I think this made P feel more comfortable, knowing that I wasn’t the only crazy one.

The show started with loud drumming.  A hula guy came out with an air cannon full of leis that he shot into the crowd.  Of course, we were too far back to catch one.  Meanwhile, a fire-eater twirled a huge baton of flaming torches to the beat of the drums.  Hula girls danced.  Then Jimmy and the band came out.  There were cheers and screams from the crowd.  He played all his greatest hits, plus some fun numbers like the swinging, “Thank God the Tiki Bar is Open”.  He exclaimed, “Work, work, work!”  His job is so tough.  He also played I Still Miss Someone as a tribute to Johnny Cash, who died earlier that week.  The crowed wildly cheered and sang along to “Margaritaville”.   He had a 15 member band, including saxophones, trumpet bongos, steel drums, keyboard, steel guitar, electric and acoustic guitars, drum kit, singers (including  the lovely and talented Ms. Nadira Shakour) and several dancers.  It was such an entertaining show.  A great “first” concert.  I would definitely see him again; only it would be nice to see him in some tropical place, not in 45 degree weather.  I purchased the album afterward.  They recorded the show from start to finish:  Jimmy Buffett Live in Auburn.   

There were three big screens that showed video and home movie footage of things like Jimmy out on a sailboat in the Caribbean, Jimmy on a huge coast guard ship, then more local pics and video of him on a ferry in Puget Sound, wandering in downtown Seattle, and crazy videos of the Parking Lot Parrot Heads living it up before the show.  There were also giant animatronic tiki gods on each end of the stage.  A huge “Tiki Time Tour” sign done in bamboo was in the backdrop.  The band were dressed in bowling shirts with tiki gods on them.  Jimmy wore a long-sleeved yellow t-shirt and bright red slacks.  No shoes.  He looked cold!

He came back for an ovation.  We stayed through the first song, then I told P we’d better leave.  I started wondering what the bus line would be like.  I hardly ever leave a concert early, but this time I knew it would be a wise decision.  I was glad we did.  There was already a huge crowd of about 100 people queued up – actually, just wandering in a pack waiting in the general area where the bus dropped us off.  I started getting nervous when I saw the crowds and the lack of movement of the cars and buses.  No one seemed to be getting out, and more people and cars were coming!  About 10 minutes later, a bus pulled up.  People started pushing their way toward the bus.  There was only one parking attendant trying to control at least 100 people.  there were no cones or roped-off areas to tell people where to even stand for the bus and keep them in an orderly line.  So, everyone just stood in a pack and tried to elbow their way to the front of the bus.  We got to the front of the bus, but were stopped by the parking attendant because the bus was full and was trying to pull out.

Naturally, we had to wait, but would be the first ones on the next bus–in a normal situation.  With the crowd building and getting anxious to get on the next bus, it was almost impossible to keep in front of the pack.  It started to get ugly.  By this time, at least 1/2 hour passed.  The people immediately behind us were also trying to keep in front.  Shouting matches began when anyone tried to stand in front of our little pack.  P suddenly got very assertive and shouted at people to move to the back of the pack, because WE were first on the next bus! 

The next bus, unfortunately, was stuck on the other side of the parking lot trying to make its way through the mess of cars and people exiting.  We had to wait at least another 15 minutes before it could move out and turn around in front of our pack.  The parking lady kept screaming at us to back up, but there was no place to go.  People were already against the fence and no one was budging from their coveted spots.  Some guy with a Panama hat and tons of shell necklaces pushed in and had the nerve to stand right in front of P.  He yelled at him to move to the back and he refused, saying he was here first but left, and wanted to be in the front of the line again.  About 20 people yelled at him in unison to move.  He started to pick a fight with a man about 20 years older and a foot shorter than he.  He said he would find him later and backed off.  We all laughed at the thought of this!  Good luck finding anyone in this mess.  There was a Santa behind us with his plump Indian wife.  He was pissed off and yelling, too.  All of these peace-and-love Parrot Heads were going against their fun-loving nature and were turning ugly, including ourselves, all for a ride on the damn bus.

The bus arrived.  The driver, a short man of about 130 lbs, inched his way down a step in the doorway and looked fearfully at the crowd shoving its way toward his bus.  He yelled that he was not to be crowded or touched, or he would get back in his bus and leave without any of us!  P was still yelling that we would be first on this bus.  We did get on first, but it wasn’t easy.  We really had to push and shove to get there.  I thought I was going to lose P in the push to the front.  I gripped his hand as tight as I could.  Santa got on behind us, too.  One group of friends got on, but only part of their party made it.  The rest got lost in the crowd as the bus pulled away.  One lady was really worried because she got on, but her friend with the car keys did not.  She was going to have to wait in the casino for probably a good hour until they showed up, with hope, on the next bus.

It was a nightmare.  I don’t think I’ll ever go back there.  At one point, I even thought aloud about pooling all our cash and begging a limo driver in the parking lot to give us a ride if he had room.  The lady who was missing part of her party said, “Don’t bother; I already tried it.  They wouldn’t even talk to me.”

We didn’t get home until 1:00 am.  I was wiped out.  At least the show was fun.  P had an ok time during the show, but I just don’t think he enjoys going to concerts.  [He’s come a long way since 2003!  Praise God.]

August 7, 2010 Posted by | 2003, Jimmy Buffett, Music, White River Amphitheatre | , , | Leave a comment

The B-52′s July 6, 2002 Chateau Ste. Michelle

Here’s another post from the old days…This was our first time at Chateau Ste. Michelle winery to see a concert. 

The B-52’s

Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, Woodinville, WA

Saturday, July 6, 2002

Our son was very cranky this morning because he knew he was going to spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa’s.  P and I were going to the B-52’s concert at the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery in Woodinville!  I was so excited.  We saw them for the first time in 1990 at the Mercer Arena.  It was such a huge crowd;  it was really hard to get close.  We managed to squeeze our way to the front (festival-style standing on the floor) and almost got squished.  I remember feeling the air getting forced out of my lungs by the crush of the crowd.   I knew we’d have a better experience this time because we had reserved seats in the 10th row!

That evening, we taxied to Woodinville to avoid the parking mess.  We had just enough time before the show to munch down a sandwich and a couple of ales at Redhook Brewery, across the street from the winery.  I knew that in order to get P to dance or at least move to the music a little, I needed to get some alcohol in him.  We then walked over to the winery.  We went into the wine shop; I was amazed.  They let you purchase your wine, give you cups and let you drink it during the concert at your seats!  They even had little cheese and cracker plates for sale.  Wow, way better than the Gorge, where there is a designated drinking area and a two-drink maximum.  I guess with the kind of music they have at the winery they aren’t too worried about crowd control. 

We purchased a bottle of champagne and later some cheese and crackers.  It was a perfect evening.  It was about 80 degrees that day, and stayed in the 70’s at night.  We sat and drank through the first act, a blues guitarist named Erika something-or-other.  She was solo, but pretty good.  It was relaxing to sit and eat and drink before the big dance!  After Erika, there was an intermission.  Usually, the intermission is about 45 minutes, so we went to the bathrooms and looked at t-shirts.  Unfortunately, they only accepted cash.  We only had enough to get a taxi home, so I lost out on that deal.  they had some cute lobster shirts, too.  Oh, well.  I’ll have to look online.

We turned around to go do some more shopping, and we heard the audience yelling.  Oh, there they were!  We ran back to the stage.  We got to walk right in front of the stage to get to our seats.  It was soooooo cool!  I was 5 feet away from my musical heroes!  I have listened to The B-52’s since I was 14!  So much fun! 

They opened with Whammy, which got everyone (less the row directly behind us, for godsakes!) on their feet.  We stayed on our feet for the rest of the concert.  They played a variety of songs from all of their albums including: Mesopotamia, Give Me Back My Man, Love Shack, Strobe Light, Volcano, Private Idaho, Roam, and more.  

The remaining members (Ricky Wilson passed away from AIDS-related illness sometime before Bouncing off the Satellites was released) still looked great, although noticeably older, considering it’s been over 20 years since their first album was released!  Keith still looked exactly the same.  P thought he still looked in his mid-twenties!  He was still skinny and fit.  Fred looked even smaller and skinnier, but older.  I guess they’d all be pushing at least 50.  He was the most energetic.  He looked like he was having a lot of fun up there.  Cindy Wilson had a big blonde bouffant hairdo and a blue velvet top that fit loose at the bottom.  She was pretty heavy.  Kate had a big auburn wig that went down her back.  She was in purple and covered with rhinestones.  Both girls sang their hearts out, but were a little raspy at times and quite stiff.  It made me feel old, until P pointed out that everyone here is old, except for the girl in front of us and some of the kids who brought their parents!

While we were dancing and singing along, I noticed there was a pretty blonde girl in front of us.  She kept turning around and offering us more champagne!  She was younger than anyone around us.  I then started wondering who she looked like.  Then I realized she could be Mena Suvari from American Pie and American Beauty!  I kept asking P, “Is that her?  Is that her?”  He thought so at first, but then wasn’t so sure.  She was definitely one of those perfectly sculpted people who tend to stand out in a crowd.  She seemed confident, but also very nice and friendly to all of the people around her. 

She then started  stacking all of the white patio chairs so she and her 40-something boyfriend could have more room to dance.  She kept motioning us to come up closer to dance in her area.  It was so cool!  Although, I still don’t know for sure if it was Ms. Suvari. 

Pat left to get some more champagne, but the wine shop was closed for the evening.  While he was gone, she asked me if I was from around here.  I told her yes, just north of Woodinville.  That was the deciding factor for me.  She wasn’t from around here!  She must be visiting from out-of-state–possibly California?  I then screwed up my courage and told her I loved her in American Beauty.  She looked confused, and said, “What?” I repeated myself, louder, trying to compete with the loud music.  She smiled, but I don’t think she said anything.  I felt awkward, not knowing if she understood me.  I immediately changed the subject and pointed to the hot air balloons that were flying just behind the stage, up several hundred feet.  She was impressed by that, and showed the person on her left. 

Her boyfriend had moved, and noticed he was on the end of the aisle.  She went to join him, and they later moved their way up to the second row to dance.  They pushed more chairs out of the way.  Now everyone around us moved their chairs and it became a festival dancing area. 

I danced and sang every word of every song.  P was semi-dancing, and at least mouthing the words, too!  [I have later come to realize I need to let him do his own thing and be thankful that he enjoys going to shows with me!]  Somewhere during a slower song, we hit the restrooms again.  It was so fun to run next to the stage and look up at the band.  I later asked P why there wasn’t more security by the stage.  He said, “Well, judging from the age of the crowd, I don’t think they’re too worried about some drunk 40-year-old woman trying to climb up on the stage!”  He had a point there. 

The only disappointment was the length of the concert.  They started at 8:00 and ended at 9:00 sharp.  I couldn’t believe it!  Over twenty years of songs and they only played for one hour.  We did manage to cheer them back for an encore.  They played Rock Lobster and Modine.  I saw the Mena look-alike on the way out.  I thanked her for the alcohol.  She smiled and said, “Oh, you’re welcome!”  Who knows…

August 7, 2010 Posted by | 2002, Chateau Ste Michelle, Music, The B-52's | , | Leave a comment