Jimmy Buffett magic at the Waikiki Shell… but not the fans!

an epic evening with Jimmy and friends on stage at the Waikiki Shell, Honolulu, Hawaii

The Waikiki Shell is probably one of the best places in the world to enjoy a Jimmy Buffett concert, and you can bet I did! On Nov. 4th, the moon was full and the Jimmy Buffett concert was epic!

I’m posting this article here in Medium since TicketMaster didn’t like this review, and didn’t publish it for some reason.

Thank goodness, the Waikiki Shell is NOT a ball stadium. It is relatively small, has great seating, and superbly balanced sound. We could hear every instrument and voice clearly and in excellent relationship to the others. Mac McAnally’s solo piece was extraordinary! Jimmy seemed genuinely relaxed, and without the stress that usually shows at the big venues. At the Shell — here it was pure music!

My biggest complaint is about the fans.

Why do they buy tickets if they’re not going to watch the show?

Through the entire show there were people milling around, talking, acting up, showing off, partying and not watching the show. Half of the reviews on Ticketmaster are complaining about the price of beers and drinks … or that the food was lousy, or the long lines at the bars. There are a thousand bars in Honolulu with great prices, great food, and beautiful hopefuls. Why come here? I came to enjoy the show — not to eat or drink or get picked up.

Our seats were in the 3rd row, center, behind the wide isle (Terrace) that separates the actual seating and the “orchestra” section where folding chairs are set up. All evening, there was a constant flow of people shuffling, back and forth through the walkway, in front of the first 10 rows. Very irritating. All evening. Hundreds of them. (See video sample below!)

In other venues, people aren’t allowed to just mill around — they are sent to their seats after a seat check. I suspect these ambling people were lawn ticket holders, strolling down front to get a better view, just because they can. I paid for 3rd row CC section seats — I shouldn’t have to try to look around lawn ticket holders milling around blocking my view.

Then there were two guys who stood up for the entire show. They blocked the view of everyone behind them for 5 rows. No matter how people complained, yelled, and asked them to be seated, they wouldn’t. No, they weren’t dancing, or applauding or celebrating a particularly high point in the music — they simply stood there body-builder style, as on display. Security said there’s nothing they could do about it. These jerks made a lot of people unhappy, including me, until I moved two seats away, to an empty seat with a clear view.

Why go to a Jimmy Buffett Concert?

I loved the Shell, and the whole aura of an evening of entertainment there in Hawaii under the full moon. Jimmy was the best ever, even though key players like Mr. Utley and Peter Mayer weren’t there. It was a magical evening.

Like me, many people enjoy Jimmy Buffet shows for the pageantry, music, and performance of Jimmy & company. Others, however, seemed to come just to aimlessly mill around, drink, party, socialize or try to get noticed by the opposite sex. I cannot understand why they pay to come to the show when they can do all those things elsewhere for free.

Don’t get me wrong — I understand the parrot head philosophy — I’m a member of an official Parrot Head club, I love a good party — and I love the tropical frame of mind! I’ve done my share of parrot-heading, drinking, tailgating and stand-up cheering. But when it comes time for the show, it’s time to sit down and watch the show — undisturbed.

FINS UP, Jimmy

… I’ll see you again if I ever get seats in another small venue with good sound!

Frustration … all evening, zombies milling around in front of the audience.

The Waikiki Shell

These were our seats… I would recommend them except for being right at the Terrace.