Jimmy Buffett spends plenty of time in the liner notes and DVD component of “Live at Fenway Park” grabbing partial credit for the Red Sox’ 2004 World Series rings, thanks to a skit wherein his voodoo-dancing “Jolly Mon” exorcised the Curse of the Bambino with a few calypso moves and a frozen, salt-addled beverage of some kind. OK, sure. But time and the gods of baseball, who are leagues more powerful than even the jolliest mon, have debunked Buffett’s baseball-related powers. He played Wrigley Field twice this year, but whatever curse-busting mojo he brought there took the Red Line to the South Side (or at least fell victim to a monster lake wind).
Regardless, this two-CD and one-DVD set, culled from Buffett’s two-night stand last September at the baseball-shrine-turned-semi-regular-concert-venue right before the Sox’s insane championship run, will fill the stockings of many a Parrothead this year. This is the sixth “official” bootleg from Buffett’s recent tours, but its set list easily trumps all others. There’s not a favorite absent, and for those interested in something other than “Volcano” for the hundredth time, there’s the acoustic and forgotten “Great Filling Station Hold-Up,” a bouncy cover of the Dead’s “Scarlet Begonias” and a Fenway-specific medley of mid-game rally bumper “Sweet Caroline” and “Why Don’t We Get Drunk” (though the live version also involved “Purple Rain” as well, missing here. It’s OK: Prince didn’t want “Weird Al” messing around with his catalog either).
The performance is a little spotty and sports a few of those “senior moments” Buffett warns about in the liner notes, but that’s not the idea. “Fenway” only wants to sail on goodwill. — Jeff Vrabel