Buffett On The Fourth Of July - July 4 1998

By Ken Jenkins

We (Me, Anne, Sam) left on Friday July 3 to see the Buffett show at Carter-Finley Stadium on July 4th. Friday night we went to see Captain Cook and the Coconuts at a local club. They're a Buffett tribute band that I saw up here at PJ Skidoo's about 5 years ago. They are pretty good. They sang all the classics, plus plenty of the more obscure songs.

Met up with some people that I had met earlier in the year at the West Palm Beach, FL concert in February at the hotel around noon on the 4th. We all caravaned to the Fins At The Farm party thrown by the Parrotheads of NC. It was in a field adjacent to the stadium. In other words -- no NC State security people to hassle with! It was perfect Buffett concert weather -- 100 degrees and humid. Couldn't have asked for a better day. The tailgating was well under way when we got there around 12:30.

We had some people with a humongous Winnebago right beside us. We were hanging out on top of that screaming out to the people who were walking by to go get us beers out of our car. We never made it to the Margaritaville party because by the time we walked over to the stadium it was almost concert time and we were afraid we'd miss something. Probably a good thing we didn't because I would've probably spent way too much money.

I probably won't bother seeing Jimmy in a stadium again -- the acoustics were just awful. Couldn't understand shit that Jimmy said. We had good seats -- 25th row. They were all the way on the side, but that was cool because all the beach balls kept coming down to us. I was a pretty popular guy because everyone in the seats wanted me to kick the balls to them. Based on conversations I had, about the only people who could understand anything were a few people in the middle of the venue. It was so bad, it would take a few verses before I even knew what the hell song he was singing.

Well it had to happen sooner or later -- 34 Buffett concerts and I finally get rained on! It poured and poured and poured! But that was actually cool because it was so hot. The harder it poured the more everyone in the stadium cheered. I saw on the newsgroup where the girl that got struck by lightning at the Tibetan Freedom Concert was there. You think she was a little nervous while it was raining? Didn't really have much lightning or thunder though.

Instead of having seats, there is just a sloped lawn at one end up the stadium. Needless to say there were lots of drunks making mudslides up there. They finally started arresting them. They were all being paraded down the side of the field in handcuffs by where we were sitting.

During one of the songs (???), Jimmy actually laid down on the stage and jammed for a bit. Needless to say, his clothes got all wet. He took his shirt off as he walked off stage and threw it towards the audience. I didn't see if it went far enough for someone in the audience to grab, but I'm pretty sure it did. That would have been a pretty good souvenir for somebody.

You can check out the set list at www.cobo.org or www.buffettnews.com. It waspretty much the same as the rest of the tour minus a couple songs. Apparently he cut out the songs to get done in time for the fireworks. Also, he sang Carolina On My Mind. Oh yeah, there were fireworks after the show.