Kiln native Brett Favre once again spent NFL Draft Day in South Mississippi. And while he wasn't wearing "jorts," the NFL Hall of Fame member was in Hattiesburg on Thursday to pay tribute to a friend — Pascagoula native Jimmy Buffet.
Favre inducted Buffett into the Southern Miss Alumni Hall of Fame before the singer's sold-out show at the Saenger Theater.
"Brett, don't put that on eBay," Buffett said as Favre walked the award off the stage.
Southern Miss and the City of Hattiesburg pulled out all of the stops Thursday as a way to welcome home one of its most famous alumni. The streets were closed in front of and around the Saenger Theater as a block party rolled until show time.
"The show sold out in less than a minute," said Amanda Hargrove, director of marketing for the Hattiesburg Convention Commission. "We had people lined up and people were buying them online at the same time and with the two-ticket limit, they went quickly."
Buffett used the small show as a way to debut his Acoustic Airmen before an appearance Sunday at Jazz Fest. The backing band features Coral Reefers Mac McAnally, Robert Greenidge, Eric Darken, Nadirah Shakoor and Tina Gullickson with special guests Sonny Landreth and ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro. McAnally and Landreth are also Mississippi natives.
The show was a tribute to South Mississippi, with Buffett telling stories about familiar locations, including many across the Coast.
"I spent a lot of time riding around the Kiln on Highway 603 trying to get to Highway 90 and get back to Pascagoula," he said before launching into "Pascagoula Run."
He also gave a shout out to a USM facility in Ocean Springs.
"This song is for my friends at the Gulf Coast Research Lab," he said before playing his hit song "Fins." "They do a lot of research on those sharks in Ocean Springs and Bay St. Louis — let's get those 'fins' up."
Buffett closed the show with the poignant "Biloxi."