Tropical troubadour Jimmy Buffett was in Charlotte Tuesday (and will be in Raleigh Thursday) on his latest tour. Here's my review of the show, which I liked enough to give 3 stars out of a possible 4.
Buffett is a big sports fan. The only time I ever met him came way back when I used to cover the Miami Heat for the Miami Herald. Buffett went to a lot of the games back then (this was in the early 1990s) and remains a fervent Heat supporter.
Buffett once actually got kicked out his front-row seat at a Heat game in 2001 for arguing too vociferously with referee Joe Forte (who didn't know who Buffett was and was clueless when then-coach Pat Riley asked Forte if he had ever been a "parrothead," the term for a Buffett fanatic).
Buffett spent some of last fall in the Outer Banks, N.C., surfing and working on some new songs. He mentioned Tyler Hansbrough and the UNC national championship team a couple of different times in Tuesday's concert -- that will go over well at the Raleigh show, too -- and also talked briefly about the Carolina Panthers and their popularity here.
Once in Charlotte at a Buffett previous concert I attended, Buffett brought wrestling star Ric Flair on-stage to play the bongos during a song to a huge roar. There was no sign of Flair this time, but Buffett's sand-between-your-toes escapism was flying high.
Like the best sports events, a Buffett concert can take you away from reality for awhile. Which is cool. Reality is always waiting for you when you get back, but it's fun to lose yourself for a couple of hours.