by Robert Bell
8 p.m. Verizon Arena. Sold out.
Back in early January, Verizon Arena was touting a big concert announcement that was "12 Years in the Making." Who might it be? The Facebook commentariat was a-froth with wild speculation. Would it be Van Halen? Bon Jovi? Paul McCartney? U2? Coldplay? Lady GaGa? Elton John and Billy Joel?
When the word came down that it was Jimmy Buffett, the Facebook complainaholics set to work, and they were pitiless: "Really??? That's it? What a letdown!" wrote Chris Lejman Ryan, her keyboard no doubt smashed to pieces in a paroxysm of disappointed rage. Jason Henry offered a withering putdown riffing on the presumed elderliness of a Buffett crowd: "Dust off your walkers, put on your LifeAlert bracelet and get ready to sing your dentures out." Perhaps Amberley Young offered the most eloquent and creatively spelled denunciation: "Ewwwwww shld have been sum 1 better."
Surely, with all of this online vitriol one could safely assume that the Buffett concert would be a failure of oceanic proportions, right?
See, the Parrotheads are legion and they are loyal. The show sold out in 90 minutes. That's right. In the time it took the haters to watch "Big Mama's House 5," 18,000 tickets had been sold. But the quick sellout shouldn't surprise anyone. After all, do the sallow British noodles in Coldplay inspire margarita-fueled, daylong tailgating parties at their concerts? No. Has Billy Joel been responsible for millions upon millions of sick days? Probably not. Has Bon Jovi inspired an entire subculture spanning decades and demographics, with a lifestyle branding empire rivaled only by Oprah or KISS? No, but the Medicare-eligible Buffett has done all the above and more, so take that, haters.