It doesn’t seem fair or nice to describe a Jimmy Buffett concert as “ho-hum,” but that is the word that comes to mind as I look back on his appearance at the Santa Barbara Bowl on Thursday night (10/15/15). Jimmy is so ebullient and appears to be having such a good time, you can’t help but sing, and when appropriate dance, along. As a longtime Buffett fan and regular listener to Radio Margaritaville on Sirius-XM, though, I felt I had heard the concert many times before – as, indeed, I had. It was not just that the songs were familiar, it was the arrangements, too. Whereas Jackson Browne made his old songs sound new, Jimmy’s old songs sounded the same.

It’s not his fault: most concertgoers would feel cheated if they didn’t hear Come Monday and Margaritaville. There were also plenty of adherents of A Pirate Looks at Forty and One Particular Harbor, although I am sort of tired of the latter. Five of my top ten Buffett songs were omitted, although I’m not sure how much difference The Weather is Here and Boat Drinks would have made. I suppose each of us could prepare our ideal Jimmy Buffett set, but I suspect Jimmy knows how to please the most people most of the time. New songs aren’t the answer. Workin’ n Playin’, his latest, and Blue Guitar, from 2002, were the only two I didn’t know, and neither had the magic of Fins, Cheeseburger in Paradise or Last Mango in Paris.

I should add that the video accompanying the concert was far and away the best I’ve seen. Three huge screens showed closeups of the performers and the audience that let me put away my opera glasses. Best of all were the shots of lapping waves and boats cruising the harbor that provided the perfect island feel for Jimmy’s songs. We could almost taste the Caribbean trip we’re taking in January. There were also a few shots of Santa Barbara which, along with Jimmy’s local references between songs, made the evening more personal.

In short, I love Jimmy’s persona and I love his music; it’s just that I didn’t love any of it any more after the concert than I did before.