Thousands of avid Parrotheads (fans of Jimmy Buffett) had their dreams dashed this spring when Buffett announced he was not coming to Las Vegas for his annual October pilgrimage. After a May show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Buffett’s usual October concert locale, he announced on his message boards that he would be returning to Las Vegas in 2010, but that both of his October weekend shows would not be happening.
Internet chatter fueled speculation as to why he’d pulled the plug. The economy? A shortage of coconut bras? It’s hard to believe, even in the current financial crisis, that he would cancel due to an expected poor turnout. He’s been selling out regularly this summer and usually packs the MGM.
But there’s no need to remove your leis or shed a tear in your Landshark beer. Tommy Rocker is coming to the rescue. His namesake restaurant and bar, Tommy Rocker’s, will host the Las Vegas Parrothead Club’s Not The Last Man Standing party.
The Last Man Standing party is the club’s official pre-party for the October weekend shows and for years has been held at Tommy Rocker’s. Named after a classic Buffet song, the party name works on many levels, since it usually includes a lot of drinking. Now that Buffett himself won’t be performing his customary shows, they opted to tweak the name of the party. Rocker says his bar will be offering $3 Landshark bottles, $3 Coronas and $3 Parrot Bay rum shots, plus $5 Cheeseburgers in Paradise.
Rocker and his band, Conched Out, traditionally perform at the street party near Margaritaville on the road between O’Sheas and the Flamingo where crowds reach into the thousands before every Buffett show at the MGM. “We were booked to play for Jimmy at the street party at Margaritaville [this year]. We had booked both weekends,” Rocker said. “We decided we would just have a party here, instead. We’ve got people coming from all over the country – Alaska, Florida, all over.”
While Buffett won’t perform this year, the show, as they say, will go on.
“Everyone keeps telling me they have more fun at the pre-parties than the shows,” said Rocker. “In years past, we always have some of Jimmy’s band members from the Coral Reefer Band play with us, though we won’t this year because they won’t be in town, unless they come anyway.”
Rocker promises a wild time in his newly renovated (and fully-clothed bar). Just in time for the Buffett celebration, he has recently switched back to his rock ’n’ roll bar format after briefly converting his venue to a topless club.
Rocker said, “We’ll be doing games and trivia in between sets, a costume contest, raffles and giveaways including neon bar signs.” The raffle proceeds will go to the Clark County Foster Kids Christmas Party, a favorite charity of the Las Vegas Parrothead Club.
Unlike the raucous street party, the atmosphere at Tommy Rocker’s will be more conducive to the softer side of Buffett music, and Rocker said Conched Out’s acoustic guitarist will be performing an opening set of mellower Buffett ballads.
No worries though, Tommy Rocker and Conched Out will follow with a high-energy set full of sing-a-long songs like “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and “Margaritaville” that you can shake your grass skirt to.