Hoffman's Houston
jimmy by the numbers

Ken Hoffman crunches the numbers on Jimmy Buffett's big Houston return

Ken Hoffman crunches the numbers on Jimmy Buffett's big Houston return

Jimmy Buffett
Buffett brings big crowds to the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.  Jimmy Buffett/Facebook

Let’s put some historical perspective on Jimmy Buffett’s long-awaited, once pandemic-postponed return to the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on Saturday, June 4. Tickets, priced between $89.50 and $149.50 for reserved seats and $49.50 for the lawn, go on sale at 10 am February 5 at all Ticketmaster locations.

Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band first performed at the Woodlands Pavilion in 1990, the year the outdoor venue opened. The pavilion held 10,000 fans – 3,000 reserved seats and space for 7,000 on the lawn — that year. Now after repeated expansions, the capacity is 16,500, with 6,500 seats and space for 10,000 on the lawn. Buffett is a surefire sell-out and the joint will be jumping, so don’t dawdle on buying tickets.

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion has hosted more than 500 popular music shows since Frank Sinatra christened the stage on April 28, 1990. Alabama and Clint Black performed the next night. The pavilion currently is ranked the No. 4 outdoor concert facility in the world by Pollstar, the bible of the live music industry.

The pavilion hosted 27 concerts in 2021 and sold 256,807 tickets during the pandemic slowdown. The pavilion hopes to present about double that many shows in 2022.
Buffett’s concert in June will be his 24th visit to the pavilion, making him No. 1 in total CWMP appearances, number of tickets sold and box office receipts. 

He’s also performed in Houston at Southern Star Amphitheater (Astroworld), Minute Maid Park, Compaq Center, Liberty Hall, and a few others. Over his 50-year career, Buffett’s most-frequented venue is Great Woods near Boston with 63 shows.

His concert history is worldly and staggering. Over the past half-century, he’s done, at last count, nearly 2,000 concerts at 565 different venues. And that’s not counting TV shows, charity events and corporate appearances.

The upcoming Woodlands date will be the first Buffett’s first Houston-area show in three years and first since his Margaritaville Resort opened in June 2020 on Lake Conroe in Montgomery County, a short drive from the Woodlands Pavilion. The 186-acre Margaritaville Resort has 335 guest suites, 32 lake cottages, an 18-hole golf course and waterpark.

What act have you seen perform live the most? Mine is Jimmy Buffett, probably 25 times. Who’s yours?

Best TV theme song?
Additional Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion note: Jack Johnson and Ziggy Marley will perform on August 26. I mention this because I was listening to a radio show debate “What is the best TV theme song?” The host and callers offered the usual suspects: The Jeffersons, WKRP in Cincinnati, Friends, The Addams Family, The Greatest American Hero, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Cheers ... you know the rest.

Wrong! The best TV theme song is from, of all places, the PBS children’s show Arthur, performed by Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers.

The actual title of the song is “Believe in Yourself,” and it’s a reggae number you can’t help but sing along. It was covered by the Backstreet Boys for the special ArthurIt’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll. Chance the Rapper does the song in his concerts, Stephen Colbert and Jon Batiste released a video on the Late Show website.

But, Marley’s version is far and away the one you should check out on YouTube. Report back.

Chick-fil-A a nuisance?
If you think Ted Cruz escaping to Cancun while Texans shivered in the Great Freeze of 2021 may come back to bite him (probably won’t), consider the political suicide Santa Barbara’s city council may be committing in California.

A Chick-fil-A restaurant in the upscale coastal town (often referred to as “The American Riviera”) is so popular that cars from its drive-through spills onto a busy street, creating a pesky traffic jam during lunch and dinner hours. What price success?

The Santa Barbara city council is taking steps that may lead to declaring the Chick-fil-A a “public nuisance” and shutting down the restaurant.

Chick-fil-A mealtime jams happen for one simple reason: people love their food. Even their Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich is delicious, and I think grilled chicken is the biggest con foisted on the American public since cauliflower crust pizza. There are 103 Chick-fil-A restaurants in Houston. I’ve sat through a couple of green lights on Holcombe. I ain’t complaining.

Voters will forgive politicians with a lot, but depriving Santa Barbara voters of their beloved Spicy Chicken Sandwich fix could be unpardonable. And very, very stupid.

By the way, schools create much worse traffic problems during dropoff and pickup times than Chick-fil-A,a nd I don’t see anybody threatening to close schools down.
Justice for waffle fries!

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Share your favorite concert and TV theme song with Ken Hoffman at ken@culturemap.com.