Wherever Jimmy Buffett goes,

a party is sure to follow.

Wrigley Field over Labor Day

weekend was no exception

September 8, 2005 • Page 8

HAVE FUN! With Tim O’Brien

CHICAGO - Jimmy Buffett played Wrigley Field. Yes, he did, for two shows over Labor Day weekend, and it was a first-ever concert event for the famed venue.

And wow, what a party! At first I was not sure about trying to make my way to

Wrigleyville for these shows because of all the hype and, to a certain extent, negativity.

That stemmed from the idea that there would be no tailgat- ing and the prices would be

too high to have a good time. Oh, there was tailgating - not the normal kind we see at Alpine Valley or Tinley Park, but still plenty of shrimp platters, beer, margaritas and much more. Furthermore, all the bars around the field had special parties and themed events.

Many people who bought tick- ets got special VIP deals at the bars. That really is what it's all about. Get as many deals as you can and you won't have to spend as much as planned.

Take the perks and enjoy.

HAVE FUN! was invited to the Corona-sponsored event at the world famous Cubby Bear, directly across from the Wrigley Field entrance. I must say it was quite a time. Host band Coco Loco played and all the food and beer was free. Yes, free (from 3-6). CocoLoco played Hi Tops after the concert, as well. Even lead singer TJ Bahama said he was getting a bit winded by Sunday night. As the sun soaked Chicago, the throngs of Parrotheads filled every bar, tavern, restaurant, parking lot, even McDonald's, to eat, drink and soak up the atmosphere. On Sunday Buffett performed at 6 p.m., and on Monday a 2 p.m. matinee was in order. An interesting thing happened before that Sunday show. Because most of us get to a concert featuring Buffett hours ahead of time, and sometimes the night before, there is plenty of time to mingle and party. Well, that's when this happened. I was sipping an ice- cold Bud Light at Murphy's when Iheardasoundcheck in progress. I looked up over the fence, and sure enough, I saw Buffett strumming his guitar while singing "City of New Orleans." It was being filmed to be used to help raise funds for hurricane victims. He was perched in the right-field bleachers, not on the stage. Because of the mingling and being at this bar at this time, many around us got to shake Jimmy's hand before he hopped in his limo. He walked along Sheffield Avenue and

signed a baseball and shook hands. The woman next to me actually said, "I touched him! I ran my hands up and down his arm!" Buffett later would play that song as an encore and send us on our way. Before that, every single song you know and love was performed so there is no sense listing them.

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The Peoria AntiPundit 2.0

 

Hey! A Goodtime Department...

I have to say, this weekend in Peoria offered up some great things to do which in this town it's sometimes hard to do. I mean there was baseball at O'Brien Field, the Boat Drunks were down on the CEFCU stage on the riverfront, something happening at the Civic Center, and the Spirit of Peoria had a dinner and dance cruise.

We did the latter and decided to try the cruise on the river. The weather around here has been wonderful and if you have lived here for any length of time, you know what Peoria can be like in August. Like the south side of Brazil. So, at $30 a ticket, you got a dinner, 2hr cruise, and dancing to a band. I have seen the Boat Drunks and while I like baseball, I don't like it enough to go more than twice a year so the cruise was something different to do for us. I haven't been on board the Spirit of Peoria in years and I mean years and all I remember was the smell of fumes, river water, and luke warm beers.

This was different and I have to say this was a great time. First off, the boat is beautiful and clean. I was impressed with the upkeep and the crew. The food was excellent, roasted chicken, pulled pork, beef, corn on the cob, coleslaw, all the things that make for a great mid west type dinner in the summer. The beer was ice cold and the crew was most accommodating. About 300 people paid to go. I had no idea that these cruises were that popular but the weather was a big help I'm sure. Picture perfect and if I didn't know better, I'd swear someone paid to have the full moon hung so clearly in the night sky.

The thing that really made this cruise was the band. Coco Loco. I have heard of these guys but never seen them perform and boy did they perform. They play Jimmy Buffett genre type music but have a wide range of songs. My son plays bass for them on most occasions and played with them at the State Fair in Springfield when I had Lewis Black tickets. From the little video I have of them (posted here from Springfield) and if I knew what a prick Black turned out to be, I would have gladly sold my tickets and gone south to Springfield and partied with Coco Loco at the fair.

I am glad I didn't miss their performance on the Spirit of Peoria Friday night. They wailed non stop the whole cruise and had the whole boat up and dancing. We were truly rocking the boat. TJ, the band's front man and lead singer is excellent and knows how to get the audience involved. Wayne who plays among other things the guitar, the fiddle, and a rather neat and old squeeze box is amazing as are all the other players. These guys really took us back to