• Video: Omaha Buffett fans endure rain
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It was a feeding frenzy in Omaha on a stormy Saturday night.
Jimmy Buffett delivered his tropical tunes and his "Fins" fans ate it all up.
While the rain raged outside of CenturyLink Center Omaha, Buffett made the arena feel like an island getaway.
For more than two hours, Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band entertained the crowd with its songs about margaritas, cheeseburgers, pirates, parrots, harbors, Mondays, fruitcakes and fins.
Jimmy Buffett's "distant cousin," Warren Buffett, made an onstage cameo at the beginning of the concert to introduce the band.
"I want to welcome all of you to this 2012 annual meeting," Warren Buffett said with a laugh.
"Cousin Warren," Jimmy Buffett interrupted, "that's next month."
Warren Buffett then moved to the side of the stage where he sat for the rest of the concert, occasionally rising to cheer on his "cousin."
Up onstage, Jimmy Buffett looked ready for the beach in bare feet, blue shorts and a yellow T-shirt.
"It might be stormy outside but it's sunny in Omaha tonight," the singer said.
Buffett entertained the sold-out crowd of more than 16,000 with a bunch of songs including his famous nine: "Margaritaville," "Come Monday," "Fins," "Volcano," "A Pirate Looks at Forty," "Cheeseburger in Paradise," "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes," "One Particular Harbor" and "Five O'Clock Somewhere."
The Parrotheads were having a party. Some stumbled through the concourses apparently intoxicated from too many frozen concoctions imbibed during a long day of tailgating. They and others also clogged the hallways in search of more margaritas and beer.
Once in their seats, the crowd behaved like a stormy sea, swinging and saying in their seats while noisily singing along.
During songs such as "Margaritaville" and "A Pirate Looks at Forty," the fans nearly drowned out Buffett's voice.
On woman's energy was amazing. Despite being one of the farthest-away fans — her seat was at the top of the arena on the far side from the stage — she stood up and danced like a flickering flame during the entire concert.
Fans ate up everything from the big songs to the less-famous tunes such as "It's My Job." They also loved Lionel Richie's "All Night Long" and "Back Where I Come From," a song originally by Coral Reefer Mac McAnally, but more recently made famous by Kenny Chesney.
The Coral Reefer Band consisted of 11 members on guitars, drums, percussion, steel guitar, keys, horns and steel drums. They were able to take songs such as "Brown Eyed Girl" and "Southern Cross" and give them a distinctly Caribbean flavor, but 12 total musicians (the band plus Buffett) was a bit much sometimes.
During a cover of Zac Brown Band's "Knee Deep," which featured Buffett in its recorded version, the band had four people on percussion and four on guitar. It was overkill and muddled what is originally a pretty simple tune.
Songs such as "Son of a Son of a Sailor" have an evolved, slightly different arrangment than their original versions. It's probably a result the band playing those songs for decades, but it gives the audience a fresh take on those songs, too.
Part of the fans' excitement came because it was Buffett's first public Omaha performance since 1985.
"Something tells me there have been people preparing for this for a long time," Buffett said. "It is great to be back in Omaha and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I promise it won't be this long before I'm back again."
Buffett offered a lot of jokes in between songs and told about how he wrote his tunes. He also made lots of references to "cousin Warren," eating at Piccolo Pete's and the stormy weather outside both between songs and by subbing Omaha-friendly lyrics during some songs.
The fans screamed and cheered every time.
I've never seen an artist receive that kind of open and absolute affection from a crowd.
"I've felt the love here for a long time," Buffett said. "I'm glad we got to do it here tonight."
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