Bars, Not Tailgating, At This Historic Ballpark
Jimmy Buffett in Fenway Park. Two classics together in one place at one time.
The Green Monster and grass skirts. The Pensky Pole and Parrotheads.
I alerted my Boston transplant friend in Los Angeles, told him we HAD to go to the show and there we were, sitting in the rightfield stands watching not great Boston players or legends like Carl Yastrzemski, Ken “The Hawk” Harrelson, Butch Hobson (hey I went to Bama!) or even the pinwheeling Luis Tiant (sorry, don’t know any current players and frankly don’t really care) but Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band.
It was my first trip to Fenway and my friend was anxious to show me not just his hometown ballpark but the scene before and after Red Sox games. As it happened, the team had a homestand around the Buffett show so I was able to experience both, well, experiences.
Now if you know anything about me, I’m a full-fledged Parrothead and have been to some 70 shows in seven states. I once flew from Los Angeles to Honolulu for one day just to see Buffett at the Waikiki Shell.
I’m also a baseball and ballparks fan so it seemed this would be the perfect combination of two of my big passions.
When we arrived in town and talked to a few locals, they were all bummed the show would be at Fenway. They much preferred it to be in Great Woods, a place with such an awesome tailgate party people bragged they started their Buffett day with “kegs and eggs.” At Fenway, there would be no tailgate, they said.
I kind of scoffed at this, thinking Yawkey Way – which has such a great pre-game scene for the Red Sox games – would be more than suitable. Better yet, it would be a street block party!
But that turned out not to be the case. Thata street and surrounding ones were was off limits to alcohol (for what reason, I could not imagine) so we were forced to go into a bar. We squeezed into one that had a Buffett tribute singer and let me say he was adequate only in that he dressed in an Aloha shirt and played Buffett tunes.
We also had little room to move and of course, had to buy our drinks. In the parking lot at places like Great Woods, you bring your own and let ‘er rip. Girls, of course, can “earn” drinks in the parking lot from the pop-up tiki bars by spinning a wheel and showing their breasts – or just by showing their breasts while spinning the heads of the guys.
I don’t want to say it wasn’t fun because we sure made the most of it, but Buffett is really all about the tailgate experience and you can’t tailgate at Fenway Park.
The show itself was cool. Of course, Jimmy was a dot on the field somewhere but we had fun “neighbors” and, like many Buffett shows, the actual show was somewhat of a blur.
Overall, I was glad I went – very glad, in fact. Had I missed it, I would have been banging my head against Penske Pole. I’m just saying that I left missing something and that’s the Boston show tailgating experience.
Now I’ve not been to Wrigley Field for Buffett, so I don’t know if it’s the same deal as at Fenway, but Wrigleyville does have a lot of bars. Whether or not they block off the streets for a block party I cannot tell you but my guess is no.
So stick to the shows with the big parking lots.
Related Post: Jimmy Buffett Concert Tour