The Nashville Flood Show

I don’t know about the rest of you but when I decide to go to a show, of any artist, I always hope I catch ‘that’ show. You know, the one where everybody remarks about how great the set list or performance was. So naturally when I made plans to see Jimmy again for the first time in three years, I hoped for something special. I got it, but not in the way I thought I would.

Going into this show, I have to admit that I was planning on this being my last Buffett show. I had seen Jimmy two previous times, May 26, 2004 and April 25, 2007, both times in Atlanta. The first was outside with shitty seats and the second was inside with really good seats. I came away satisfied both times and I feel like I scored a few gems along the way. This time though I was in a huge rut with Jimmy. He had been my gospel for the better part of six years, but when 2009 rolled around I found myself at the point where I felt like I might be done with Jimmy. I turned back seats I scored on Ticketmaster for opening night of the tour in favor of Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band a few weeks later. That wasn’t a bad decision at all as that show was one of the best I have ever seen, maybe only upstaged by Bruce again in November. Those two shows put him at the top of the food chain and left Jimmy in the dust. Or so I thought.

In the midst of my Springsteen mania, I took a year off from Buffett. Sure, I listened to the occasional favorite, and I was still interested in what was going on in BuffettWorld. So when Jimmy announced a Nashville date I decided that I should go one more time and see what was left there. Tickets in hand, I set out to see if I could get back into the music. Taking a year off can do wonders, and I found that some of the old favorites came back very easy. But the buzz for the music just wasn’t coming back. By the time opening night in Tampa rolled around, I had managed to get myself back together and was enjoying the music again. Opening night didn’t impress me very much, but by the time Jimmy made it to St. Louis, I was digging Ustream and I was full-on hooked again.

So let’s move to the day of the show. The show was the beginning of my vacation, so that helped my excitement. I was taking my mom who has always enjoyed Jimmy’s music but hadn’t gone either of the previous times to see him with me and I was excited for her. This was also the best Mother’s Day gift I had ever given her. There was just one thing on the big day: the weather. I knew there was a chance of rain but who really cared, the show was inside and it wasn’t supposed to rain all day. Wrong. By 1:00, we had made it to Franklin, TN and I was staring at tornado warnings on my iPhone. I wasn’t so much worried about that (it’s a regional thing, we always have tornado warnings but seldom ever have a tornado touch down) but it was raining cats and dogs. Places where starting to flood. All that was on my mind though was getting to Nashville. I felt like once I got there, it would stop raining, and everything would be alright. Wrong again.

By 2:00, we had finally made it to our hotel in downtown Nashville. It was still raining but again I wasn’t worried because I knew it would stop soon. We get in our room and turned on the TV to check things out, amazed at what we saw. Franklin had 20 inches of rain. What? That’s not possible. I-24 is flooded and has vehicles floating down it. Briley parkway is also flooded. I can’t believe it. I wasn’t gonna be stopped though, so after a few minutes, we grabbed some umbrellas and headed out into downtown for some food. Not only did I need food, I had to pay a visit to my favorite record store, the Earnest Tubb Record Shop. Despite the heavy rain, we made it fine walking around and I was pleased to see lots of other people not letting the terrible weather hold them back.

So it’s finally showtime. We enter the arena, I secure a shirt, and off to the seats we go. I won’t spend a lot of time talking about the show, you guys heard it and watched it, you know how great it was. Jimmy had several great lines about the flood throughout the show, including the first thing out of his mouth when he introduced Ilo, “Did you bring your snorkel’s with you?” It was great to hear some of my favorites for the first time (“Nobody From Nowhere,” “School Boy Heart,” “Big Top,” “Landfall,” “Last Man Standing,” “He Went to Paris”) and some of the odd other ones I seem to always catch (“If the Phone Doesn’t Ring, It’s Me,” “Elvis Presley Blues,” “Everybody’s on the Phone,”). The next morning we where able to get out of the area just as it was beginning to rain again. Fortunately, we made it out of town just a few hours before all hell broke lose. As the day went on and I began to reflect on the experience, I realized that I still have a passion for the music.

I saved what I think is the strangest thing about all of this for last. By the time I had to walk to the arena, it had stopped raining. And it didn’t rain during the show, in fact, it didn’t start raining until I made it back to the hotel after the show. I guess Jimmy truly does take the weather with him.

So that’s my take on things for this month. I wanna say I’m sorry it took so long to get this together but I think I hit a case of writer’s block, haha. Anyway, I have a few ideas kicking around and I plan on doing this as often as I used too. Look for the old articles to be available again very soon as well. – J.H.