Jimmy Buffett opens his spring I Don’t Know Tour in Maryland playing back to back nights in Annapolis and Baltimore.

Why would people be walking around downtown Baltimore on a chilly Friday evening wearing coconut bras, cheeseburgers, and parrots on their heads like hats?  Simple…Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band are in town. Playing the Royal Farms Arena after spending the previous day in Annapolis, MD at the U.S. Naval Academy where Jimmy was honored with receiving the Navy’s Superior Public Service Award.  He was presented this award for his support of the men and women of the Navy over the years.

Opening the show and introduced by Jimmy was singer/songwriter Caroline Jones.  Supporting the release of her new album Bare Feet, Ms. Jones was quite expressive and musically involved with her portion of the show.  Playing a compact set, she managed to jam on an electric banjo, acoustic, and electric guitar switching instruments for each song.  Beyond writing the songs for her new release, Caroline also co-produced it as well as played all of the instruments on the album except for bass and drums.  Very talented and in-tune with the vibe in the arena, highlights from her set included “Worth the Wait” and “Tough Guys.” 

After a brief intermission, the headliners took the stage to a loud applause and excitement that would shred away the thoughts of the cold outside.  Buffett, whose music career began in the late 60’s in Nashville, tore right into the evening offering up “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes” much to the crowds’ delight.

Ms. Jones was invited back onstage several times during the show by Mr. Buffett, who seemed excited to be having her along on his tour. You could also tell that she enjoyed participating in the party as she joined in on “Come Monday” and “Margaritaville.” Jimmy actually said that Caroline was born in Margaritaville because he read it on the internet, to which she replied that it must be correct because everything on the internet is true.  They laughed.  

Jimmy and the Coral Reefers delivered a setlist that was jammed full of classic Parrothead songs.  Making sure to fit in his most popular songs such as “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” “Fins,” and “Volcano,” the band definitely cast in some other crowd favorites as well.  

Breaking up the set, the band floated into an acoustic portion of the show laying down some laid-back versions of “Gypsies in the Palace,” the Eagles’ “Take it Easy,” and took it back to the electric side with Tom Petty’s “Learning to Fly.”  Buffett definitely knows how to pick out excellent cover tunes, and mixes them in with his own hits creating sing-a-longs that last all night long, oh so sweet.

Spanning the stage was an 11-piece band that seems very well rooted within the music world.  Skilled and fluent in their craft, The Coral Reefer Band provide the perfect chemistry enabling Buffett to share his enthusiastic flavor of Island Party Rock.  Masterfully braided together, the music these musicians create is unlike any other performed in the business.  These performers have a special gift of elevating an audience and taking them on a journey making them feel as though they are on a summer vacation, sitting at the marina and enjoying some cold libations.

The presentation of the concert was superb and the stage was very colorful. The visual show was quite engaging and the backdrop video enhanced the performance immensely. During guitarist Mac McAnally’s song “Back Where I Come From,” videos highlighting many of Maryland’s great features such as the Chesapeake Bay, The Baltimore Ravens and Orioles and The Preakness Stakes graced the screen much to the fans delight.

Parrotheads were thrilled with the Baltimore performance and the band’s stage presence was top notch as always.  This winter has many people in the Northeast sick and tired of the cold and wintry conditions, and ready for some spring weather. Fans who were at Royal Farms Arena on Friday night were treated to an early summer arrival thanks to Mr. Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band.

 

Jimmy Buffett and The Coral Reefer Band
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Caroline Jones
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Royal Farms Arena
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Event Date: 30-MAR-2018

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