On Saturday night, a sprawling sea of middle-age couples dressed for comfort gathered at Target Field for the fibromyalgia commercial of concert double bills: Jimmy Buffett and the Eagles.
7:00 — Jimmy Buffett gets the party started with a song about relaxing.
7:05 — Beach balls. Everywhere.
7:16 — A gentleman who looks like he’s about 60 is smoking weed in left field.
7:26 — Jimmy Buffett’s music is not very dynamic. Don’t get me wrong, I like songs about getting drunk in the afternoon as much as the next guy, but it doesn’t take long for these tunes to start blending together. You could tell me the drummer was playing the same beat with occasional fills thrown in from the moment this shit started and I’d believe you.
7:35 — Jimmy Buffett is worth over $550 million dollars. Can you believe that? The guy writes poetry about cheeseburgers. Capitalism, man.
7:36 — Our basest human needs are satiated with a full-throated, full-stadium singalong of the chorus “Why don’t we get drunk and screw?”
7:39 — Jimmy Buffett’s backing group, the Coral Reefer Band, is made up of far more capable musicians than the music of Jimmy Buffett requires. Bongo man is slappin’ the skins like a maniac. It’s fun.
7:51 — The Coral Reefer Band’s Wikipedia page lists the group’s notable special guests over the years. Paul McCartney, Roy Orbison, and Brian Wilson are on the list. New Orleans Saints football coach and bountygate maestro Sean Payton has played bongos in the band. Harrison Ford contributed “whip cracks.” Ric Flair once played drums and offered his signature “woo”s to the Reefer Band’s sonic landscape. What a world.
8:05 — Beach balls remain omnipresent.
8:13 —“Margaritaville,” Buffett’s Mona Lisa, shines upon the faithful. Parrot Heads rejoice.
9:00 — The bland, beige kings of sun-swept rock have entered Target Field.
9:05 — “Hey, you guys like killer guitar riffs?” Joe Walsh asks. “Inspired lyrics? Go fuck yourselves, we’re the Eagles!”
Nah, jk, Walsh introduces the band by saying, “How you doing? Great to be back here.”
9:06 — The Eagles energize the crowd with mega-hit “Take It Easy.”
9:08 — Revelation: “Take It Easy” is like Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright,” but if Dylan had been hooked on whippits.
9:15 — I have to admit, the Eagles have some great harmonies. Like a subdued Bee Gees, maybe. Having a moment here with “One of These Nights.”
9:18 — That moment is neutered from my memory by a guitar solo with all the excitement of a pair of pleated khaki pants.
9:20 — Don Henley has just informed the audience he’s planning on playing for “about two and half hours tonight” because “we can.” Fuck.
9:29 — Huge cheer from the crowd for Don Henley during “Witchy Woman.” The crowd here has apparently forgiven Henley for “All She Wants to do is Dance,” one of rock and roll’s great atrocities. But I cannot.
9:48 — I assume this song is called “Bread Sandwich.”
10:12 — The official attendance tonight is 42,185. The city’s crime rate has surely plummetted with all these ne’er-do-wells off the street.
10:15 — It’s amazing how many of these songs have achieved ubiquity. When a song would start, my reaction would be, “Oh right, that’s an Eagles song too.” This has happened at least three times tonight. Try as I might to suppress it, these ‘gulls have embedded themselves deep in the fabric of my mind.
10:34 — Man, these songs are long and tedious. This is like reading a footnote-heavy guide to Microsoft Excel, but with guitars.
10:42 — Joe Walsh takes center stage for “Life’s Been Good.” He does his signature guitar doodling. Sometimes he swings his hips.
10:43 — Joe Walsh makes Jimmy Buffett look like GG Allin.
10:55 — This song sounds kind of like “Bread Sandwich” but with more twang. The bass line’s a little saucier. The set ends with its conclusion.
11:03 — Encore! Hotel Californiaaaaa!
11:05 — If I never hear this song again it’ll be too soon. I hate it and I know every word. Every second of the guitar solo. The drum fills. All of it. I know every particle of this song and I hate myself.
11:13 — I have made peace with the fact that this concert is never going to end.
11:18 — The lighters come out for “Desperado.” As far as I can see, no one is crowd-surfing in an attempt to set themselves on fire.
11:23 — And with that it’s over. The Eagles have left the building.
Jimmy Buffett setlist
Blacked Out in the Garage
Island Flip Flops
She Doesn’t Care (That I Drink All Day)
Industrial Daiquiri Stand
Panamanian Shrimp Suit
Shit-Housed on the Riding Mower
Tears in My Tequila
Cheeseburger in Paradise
Sale at Men’s Wearhouse
Carburetors (Shopping for a New One)
Programming the VCR
All My Meats Well Done
Tylenol PM Rock
Talk’n ‘bout Weather
Take it Easy