It was tearing up Facebook over the weekend — Jimmy Buffett made a surprise appearance at the Mac McAnally concert Saturday at the Grand Magnolia.
McAnally, an old stomping buddy of Buffett’s, played a few songs and then Buffett walked out on the stage to a crowd that caught on quickly and roared approval.
He played more than a half-dozen songs with McAnally at the beginning of the concert and returned again at the end. He was having fun, audience members said.
He quipped at the mayor, saying the lighthouse looked good, but asked why the city didn’t spend more coin on Buffett Bridge, a little span over a bayou near the city’s Buffett Beach.
“He did a lot of talking,” audience member Danny Smith said. “He was funny. He made jokes.”
He took requests.
And when the audience got to shouting them, “he said all the yelling sounded like a Trump press conference,” Smith said.
Buffett was in Mobile on Friday. He showed up at the Dew Drop Inn and there was talk of a documentary he was making with a relative.
So there were rumors he might show up at McAnally’s concert, but there was just as much debunking the rumors, Smith said. Word was he had to fly to Los Angeles for an event his wife wanted him to attend.
Then he showed up at Scranton’s Restaurant, where they were holding a VIP event for McAnally. So he and McAnally were able to rehearse a little before the concert.
There were 350-plus at the concert, an intimate venue at the Grand Magnolia.
“The crowd was kind of genuinely shocked,” Smith said. “Mac came out and did two songs, then Mac sat down at the piano and told the story about writing ‘When the Coast is Clear,’ a song that he and Buffett co-wrote in New Orleans.
“He starts playing the first verse and Buffett just appears on the other side of the stage, comes out and starts singing in the microphone. It was just incredible. Everyone started yelling, stood up and clapped, but it quickly died down so you could hear the song.”
Scranton’s owner Richard Chenoweth said they didn’t have more than five hours’ warning that Buffett might actually show.
“But when you’re dealing with people like that, you believe it when you see it,” he said.
Chenoweth said you never know what will happen with “people who have their own airplanes.”
Smith said that in the old days if Buffett did a concert on the Mississippi Coast, he might show up at Judge Roy Bean’s in Daphne, Alabama.
“I’ve heard stories for years of him just dropping in,” Smith said. “People would say, ‘I wish that would happen again.’
“Well, it happened Saturday night because he sure showed up.
“And the kicker was Jimmy Buffett seemed to be having a good time, too.”