Lifelong Saints fan Jimmy Buffett performed at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival dressed up as a sight-impaired NFL referee.
He was calling attention to last year's NFC championship game that infamously robbed NOLA of a Super Bowl appearance.
Stripped of the zebra stripes by a pair of Saintsations, Buffett serenaded the Acura Stage audience with a stream of his dreamy Caribbean story songs.
Buffett’s lyrics are as penetrating as anything Paul Simon ever penned, minus the angst.
The most existential circumstance Buffett describes is the misplacement of a salt shaker and the slight ennui that comes with realizing paradise on earth can’t last forever.
He is the hero of seaside hedonism and, on Sunday (May 5), the Fair Grounds environment rose up to meet his aesthetic.
Wispy clouds, seagulls, beach balls and illicit smoke wafted through the glorious spring air.
Buffet reconfirmed his charming cheekiness when he told the crowd he couldn’t wait to sing “Margaritaville” on Cinco De Mayo, before launching into a breezy rendition of his mega hit.
Buffett also was thoughtful enough to wish Mick Jagger well, before leading the crowd in a sing-along of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” As all of New Orleans knows, Jagger was forced to scrub the Rolling Stones’ Jazz Fest performance because of heart valve surgery.
Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews followed Buffett on the Acura Stage, performing a heavy metal rock show in which the heavy metal was a brass trombone and trumpet. Cyril and Aaron Neville joined Andrews, wistfully revisiting the years in which the Neville Brothers closed out the fest.
On the opposite side of the race track John Fogerty closed his set with “Proud Mary,” which he noted was the same vintage as the 50th anniversary Jazz Fest.