Review of Private Houston Show

posted December 9th, 2010 at 2:57 pm

20 Comments »
by Josh Martin

Ken Hoffman of the Houston Chronicle attended Monday night’s private show for American Express platinum cardholders at the Toyota Center. In a review of the concert, he explains how it wasn’t your typical Buffett show. ” I’d never been to a rock show with commercial breaks before.”

American Express e-mailed two free tickets to local platinum-card holders as a thank-you for years of paying their bill on time. It was a very platinum-looking crowd, too, not Buffett’s regular throng of Hawaiian-shirt-wearing pretend beach bums and surfer girls.

When we entered Toyota Center, there was a sign, “Food and soft drinks are complimentary.” American Express picked up the bill for all the hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken tenders, soft drinks and pizza. I should have told Garfield to meet me in front of Toyota Center. Beer was not free. People in line at the concession stand ordered “two hot dogs (free), two hamburgers (free), three sodas (free), popcorn (free), peanuts (free) … and one beer ($7.50).” On average, it was a pretty good deal.

Buffett is a huge star, especially in Houston. If this were a normal concert, with normal ticket sales, the place would have been packed, every seat filled to the top row, front and back. American Express blocked off the entire upper deck and behind the stage Monday night. American Express gave away 7,500 tickets, hoping to present an intimate concert event.

There were empty seats throughout the lower bowl. Some rows, including mine, were less than half-filled. I figure maybe 6,000 people were inside the 19,000-capacity Toyota Center.

Buffett usually walks onstage without a formal introduction. The fans know who he is. Monday night, an American Express spokeswoman welcomed the crowd and introduced Buffett with a weird flowery speech and commercial for American Express.

Buffett opened with two songs from his country album, License to Thrill. Then he launched into a story about having lunch with his distant relative Warren Buffett – one of the few people in the world with more money than Jimmy Buffett. Jimmy said Warren told him that he judges America’s economic strength by how many people are paying for things with their American Express credit card. Buffett mentioned American Express throughout the concert.

He did everything but use an American Express credit card to slice and dice potatoes “faster than a food processor!”

There was no intermission, like a regular Buffett show. The fans didn’t know how to do “fins to the left, fins to the right,” during the closing song. And for his encore, he did a rocked-out Brown-Eyed Girl instead of an acoustic ballad.

There were no tables selling T-shirts in the lobby. I saw only one beach ball being batted about in the audience.

And Houston area parrotheads… Hoffman says that Buffett hinted that he’d be back in the Spring.


Tagged in Show Reviews, Special Appearances

  • Finsupteacher

    I sooooo would have gone even though I live in Missouri. I upgraded to platinum last month when I heard about this – maybe next year I’ll be invited. The fee for platinum is less than I paid for my Buffett ticket last year.

  • Finsupteacher

    I sooooo would have gone even though I live in Missouri. I upgraded to platinum last month when I heard about this – maybe next year I’ll be invited. The fee for platinum is less than I paid for my Buffett ticket last year.

  • Finsupteacher

    I sooooo would have gone even though I live in Missouri. I upgraded to platinum last month when I heard about this – maybe next year I’ll be invited. The fee for platinum is less than I paid for my Buffett ticket last year.

  • Geeky Randy

    Setlist please.

  • Geeky Randy

    Setlist please.

  • Geeky Randy

    Setlist please.

  • Parrotalltheway

    that is THE saddest review i’ve ever read. that crowd didn’t deserve to go to that show. why did he bother to do such a show, is JB hard up for money? don’t think so. why did the guy even bother to write the review? clearly not a JB fan or he would have gotten the album name right. sad…………

  • Parrotalltheway

    that is THE saddest review i’ve ever read. that crowd didn’t deserve to go to that show. why did he bother to do such a show, is JB hard up for money? don’t think so. why did the guy even bother to write the review? clearly not a JB fan or he would have gotten the album name right. sad…………

  • Parrotalltheway

    that is THE saddest review i’ve ever read. that crowd didn’t deserve to go to that show. why did he bother to do such a show, is JB hard up for money? don’t think so. why did the guy even bother to write the review? clearly not a JB fan or he would have gotten the album name right. sad…………

  • Jerry Hepburn

    Lucky Texas!!!

  • Jerry Hepburn

    Lucky Texas!!!

  • Jerry Hepburn

    Lucky Texas!!!

  • Kiwibird

    Hey… ParrotAllTheWay.. Buffet did know the type of audience he was performing to..
    You didn’t comprehend the review.. He was doing it for AmEx.. and people who use their cards
    and pay their bills… usually OLDER!! (AmEx bought out the stadium for their customers to reward
    them .. free tickets.. for them, but Buffett was paid by AmEx) They wanted it to be an “imtimate concert”
    Probably someone like you wouldn’t be invited.. No American Express card & maybe you don’t pay
    your bills on time? No matter… try going back to read the review again… (BTW… I received the invitation, but Syr.NY is much too far from Texas … BooHoo! Or I would have been there.. Had to be a great concert without all the stupid parrot heads messing up the concert… Most don’t know the best vintage tunes written by Buffett and what he’s really all about. That my story and I’m stickin’ to it!!!
    Sincerely, “Vintage JB Fan” BUT, I do know about .. Fins to the Right…& Salt, Salt, Salt ; ) Amen!

  • Kiwibird

    Hey… ParrotAllTheWay.. Buffet did know the type of audience he was performing to..
    You didn’t comprehend the review.. He was doing it for AmEx.. and people who use their cards
    and pay their bills… usually OLDER!! (AmEx bought out the stadium for their customers to reward
    them .. free tickets.. for them, but Buffett was paid by AmEx) They wanted it to be an “imtimate concert”
    Probably someone like you wouldn’t be invited.. No American Express card & maybe you don’t pay
    your bills on time? No matter… try going back to read the review again… (BTW… I received the invitation, but Syr.NY is much too far from Texas … BooHoo! Or I would have been there.. Had to be a great concert without all the stupid parrot heads messing up the concert… Most don’t know the best vintage tunes written by Buffett and what he’s really all about. That my story and I’m stickin’ to it!!!
    Sincerely, “Vintage JB Fan” BUT, I do know about .. Fins to the Right…& Salt, Salt, Salt ; ) Amen!

  • Kiwibird

    Hey… ParrotAllTheWay.. Buffet did know the type of audience he was performing to..
    You didn’t comprehend the review.. He was doing it for AmEx.. and people who use their cards
    and pay their bills… usually OLDER!! (AmEx bought out the stadium for their customers to reward
    them .. free tickets.. for them, but Buffett was paid by AmEx) They wanted it to be an “imtimate concert”
    Probably someone like you wouldn’t be invited.. No American Express card & maybe you don’t pay
    your bills on time? No matter… try going back to read the review again… (BTW… I received the invitation, but Syr.NY is much too far from Texas … BooHoo! Or I would have been there.. Had to be a great concert without all the stupid parrot heads messing up the concert… Most don’t know the best vintage tunes written by Buffett and what he’s really all about. That my story and I’m stickin’ to it!!!
    Sincerely, “Vintage JB Fan” BUT, I do know about .. Fins to the Right…& Salt, Salt, Salt ; ) Amen!

  • Geeky Randy

    That’s fine. I think it’s cool Buffett would do such a concert. I think it’s kind of silly that he’d perform “Fins” when people obviously don’t know how to do it—or even know the song. Shows like these are an oppertunity for him to drop such a song, but he unneededly did it. I wouldn’t dare suggest he drop “Fins” from his tour shows, but this is once in a rare while (á la Big Easy/Big Apple) when he could’ve dropped it and he didn’t. Silly. But I’d love to see a setlist nevertheless.

  • Geeky Randy

    That’s fine. I think it’s cool Buffett would do such a concert. I think it’s kind of silly that he’d perform “Fins” when people obviously don’t know how to do it—or even know the song. Shows like these are an oppertunity for him to drop such a song, but he unneededly did it. I wouldn’t dare suggest he drop “Fins” from his tour shows, but this is once in a rare while (á la Big Easy/Big Apple) when he could’ve dropped it and he didn’t. Silly. But I’d love to see a setlist nevertheless.

  • Grazie

    Of course Buffett Would do a concert like this and represent American Express. He doesnt care about his fans or parrotheads anymore. He’s in it for the buck. Shame on you Mr.Buffett….I remember when I looked to you as how I wanted to live my life. Sad. Remember where you came from.

  • Grazie

    Of course Buffett Would do a concert like this and represent American Express. He doesnt care about his fans or parrotheads anymore. He’s in it for the buck. Shame on you Mr.Buffett….I remember when I looked to you as how I wanted to live my life. Sad. Remember where you came from.

  • Grazie

    Of course Buffett Would do a concert like this and represent American Express. He doesnt care about his fans or parrotheads anymore. He’s in it for the buck. Shame on you Mr.Buffett….I remember when I looked to you as how I wanted to live my life. Sad. Remember where you came from.

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