Saturday, June 9, 2012

Live Review: Jimmy Buffett (6/7/2012)

A lot of music critics have called Japandroids Celebration Rock "an album that reminds us of our youth."  They say that the lyrics and the rocking feel "The Nights of Wine and Roses" are supposed to remind us of the days we could "yell like hell to the heavens" after just opening one adult beverage, every cliche yet overly catchy chorus is supposed to remind us of those days when we thought death was going to be our only reason to rest, every solo is supposed to remind us of the days where we were "old enough to know but to young to care," and every scream is supposed to remind us of these days where we could only tell time by counting the drink we were on.  Celebration Rock is an ode to youth in the most fashionable way possible: with hard rocking riffs, with drugs and alcohol, with losing our dignity as easily as we lost our virginity, with love and lust being mixed together like our eighth drink, and with our screams being loud enough to shatter the glass gates of heaven.

But the problem with the critics take on Japandroids is the nauseating take on what happens after the "invincible youth."  Critics will go on tangents that the pursuit of freedom and love is killed once a person gets his college degree, critics will go on rants about how love ends at the reciting of wedding vows, and critics will say that once a person puts on his "suit and tie" for a corporate job that they become a mute mouse instead of being someone who could shatter the pearly gates with one pitiful and youthful scream.  Critics view Celebration Rock as more than the ode to youth, but also as a stubborn reminder of the false hope that youth presents.

As of 7:00 P.M. Thursday night I probably wholeheartedly agreed with every music critics philosophical and depressing take on Celebration Rock.  But after seeing Jimmy Buffett and the way his audience reacts to his music, I now believe that every Celebration Rock critic has been totally wrong.  The audience for the Buffett concert proved that being youthful was possible at just about any age: I saw a woman in her mid 60's who almost got kicked out of her luxury box for dancing to provocatively, I saw a woman in her mid 40's hit me with a beach ball that said "over 18? single? call me at this number: __ ___ __," I saw drunk men scream the lyrics to even Buffett's most insignificant B sides, I saw corporate men drunkenly get dressed up in costumes, I saw 500 pound things that could have been Big Foot surf the crowd with relative ease, and I saw person after person who wasn't worried about tomorrow and was just worried about when their next drink order was coming in.  Buffett's concert was full of 60 year old women who were "screaming like hell to the heavens," it was filled with 50 year old's who could probably wait til death until they decided to rest, it was filled with 40 year old drunk women who were still looking for youthful flings, and it was filled with people who were symbols of fantastic freedom instead of being worn down corporate clones.

Part of this is because Buffett's music is the essence of unconditional youth: "Margaritaville" is an anthem for the 70-year-old who has had a few to many drinks and for the 13 year old who thinks he is a genius for calling it "Marijuanaville,"  "Why Don't We Get Drunk and Screw?" is a hilarious two minute and 30 second "love song" that everyone can fall in love with, "Cheeseburger In Paradise" is a mediocre song that everyone accepts is mediocre, and "A Pirate Looks at Forty" is the perfect song for anyone who has ever struggled with anything.  Buffett makes music perfect for the 8-year-old who wants to play dress up and the 80-year-old who thinks he is a pirate, he makes music that defines the life of the 40-year-old alcoholic and the 21-year-old who is taking his first drink, he makes music that inspires Jeff Bridges character in "Crazy Heart" and he makes music for anyone who's heart is going crazy because of love, he makes music for the lady who is asking for sex on a beach ball and for the child who is going to the beach for the first time, he makes music for the "son of the son of a sailor" who is looking for his first I PAD, and the person with the "Pencil Thin Mustache" who is just trying to get by.  Jimmy Buffett's music and his audience is the proof that love is not a temporary condition that spawns false hope and results in disappointment,  rather it is an eye opening experience that tells us that youth is an unconditional feeling of bliss that can be achieved at anytime and at any place.

On "A Pirate Looks at Forty" Buffett sarcastically sings "yes I am a pirate, 200 years to0 late." But after going to a Buffet concert and seeing the unconditional youth that he makes people feel with every song, you realize the point of his music isn't to sing about the time he felt like a "pirate who was 200 years too late," the point of Buffett music and his live performances is to make everyone feel like a youthful pirate even if they are 200 years old.

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