I cut my week of interviews one day short and hopped on an EARLY morning train to Paris today. The weather here is cool and clear and the ground is covered with fallen leaves. I met up with another Buffett fan, who found us a charming little hotel in the St. Germain area. We spent the day leisurely strolling around Paris, eating at little cafes, and preparing for tonight’s Jimmy Buffett concert.
Fortified by a bottle of Bordeaux, we walked about an hour to the concert venue, which was in a sketchy neighborhood in the 5eme arrondisement. We finally found New Morning Jazz Café about a half hour before the show started. I was worried about arriving so late as it was open seating and I thought we might be stuck in the back.
That turned out not be a problem, however, as the venue was very, very small, and the concert was limited to about 200 attendees. As I walked in and sized up the place, I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “This is one of the best decisions I have ever made.”
Sure enough, we found a spot around 20 feet from the stage and began the usual pre-Buffett meeting/greeting of other Parrotheads. As with any Buffett concert, most of the fans weren’t local. We met people from all over Europe, North America, and Australia. Also as with any Buffett concert, there were fans ranging from 6 years old to 60 with the entire spectrum of ages in between represented.
The concert itself was a blast. Jimmy played for over two hours with no break. The set list was excellent and the environment was intimate; the entire audience was singing along and spirits were high. The bar wasn’t prepared to deal with the lush factor of Buffett fans as they ran out of wine halfway through the show and beer shortly after that. No worries, though, we still had a blast between Buffett’s singing, joke telling, and French speaking.
After three encores we all spilled out onto the Paris streets. Even in the small crowd I bumped into a friend of mine from Rice—small world! The long walk back to the hotel in the fresh night air was a nice way to cap off a very, very different Buffett concert experience. If he comes back I will try to make it again next year –and with a larger group that won’t feel shy about tailgating in a random alleyway in a sketchy Paris neighborhood!