KAABOO Del Mar was the most relaxed fest I’ve attended, and it has a great San Diego vibe. This is not a pop-up on dirt, and the Del Mar Fairgrounds are first class. Musically diverse with a splash of New Orleans, a heavy does of roots and alt-country, tried-and-trues, funk and jammers, worldly influenced, indie heroes, local heroes, and a dish of late night EDM and comedy. Lots of creature comforts – craft beer and artisanal alcohol, food from local chefs, art everywhere (oh, and you don’t see hammocks, a pool and a volleyball court at most fests either).
It’s the brain child of Denver based Bryan Gordon and a huge supporting cast. Gordon even went so far as to bring in the stage from the Santa Clara Fare Thee Well shows, a loving touch, for sure. Weekend highlights included an intimate VIP event with Sheryl Crow on Thursday night that felt more like a backyard garden party.
Friday, September 18, 2015
Gates of Gold) have been at it for decades and still rule. Delta Rae and the Hölljes sibs were urgent and passionate (despite those taking it in by hammock). No Doubt ended their current tour with their Friday performance, and yes, that Gwen Stefani sure knows how to hold a stage. And before the night was out, Lewis Black was pretty damn funny.
Saturday, September 19, 2015
Saturday highlights included Rodrigo y Gabriela and X. The former never cease to amaze me how 12 nylon strings bent on metal can captivate big stages and the latter is still a buzz saw in the best way. I confess to being a sucker for the abundance of earnestness Adam Duritz and Counting Crows bring to their nuggets. Utah’s Neon Trees lit it up and I opted for the rambunctious roadhouse of the Old 97s over The Roots. Fun to catch hometown heroes Slightly Stoopid on their own turf. Zac Brown Band had everyone singing when they weren’t throwing curveball covers like “Enter Sandman” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” into the mix. Totally enjoyed Spoon with their the feedback drenched opening and angular melodies.
Sunday, September 20, 2015
KAABOO has a definite personality. The chill surfer sensibility, the dial-in sunshine, da riddims, the sun dipped frocks, the abundance of beautiful bods. Relaxed, great food, great facilities. Art, comedy, a late night party and music for everybody. It aimed high and had a very solid first outing and I’m definitely in for KAABOO 2016.