KAABOO DEL MAR 2019 SUMMARY
Del Mar never disappoints in terms of weather and vibe on all 3 days of the festival. It was beautiful outside, a gorgeous sunset and you never felt uncomfortable.
The line wasn't extremely bad coming in for a Friday afternoon and we even went into line twice because we were told that Verizon was giving away wristbands for anyone who had the rewards upgrade on their phone App. Apparently, the wristband allows you free beer in the Verizon tent by the USAA stage, but the line was too long all day, so I'll try again tomorrow.
Friday is all about exploring, Saturday is about the food & drink, and Sunday is about seeing anything that you missed. There were some amazing art exhibits taking shape as artist were put and about painting murals as you can see on our Instagram Story @sandiegodotcom. The art booths in the Mattress Warehouse were on point as well. Notably Niki's abstract work stood out to me as we strolled through the space. I'll need to head back in to get a better look at other displays on Saturday and Sunday.
Then the food... I had a Poke Bowl from one of the food trucks that was pretty good and at a pretty standard festival price of $18. I washed it down with a Blue Moon from their tent which was in the middle of the festival and very visible. Bai5 was also giving away free beverages so I had the coconut pineapple one to help rehydrate. There are plenty of booths having free samples to try and Coola came through with free sunscreen which comes in handy when you have fair Irish American skin.
Now the reason we all came to KAABOO; the music. Plain White T's were playing at the stage when we entered which brought back some nostalgia. After some exploration, we caught the tail end of Silversun Pickups as they have always been worthy of a stage. I spoke with some festival goers that had been at REO Speedwagon and they claimed they were showing their age but don't quote me on that...
Boyz II Men came on the USAA Grandview stage next and these guys have so much talent that it is incredibly enjoyable to witness them on stage. Vocally, I'm not sure anyone can compare to what these 3 can do. They did have some microphone issues, but they powered through like the true professionals that they are. As soon as that show finished, we caught the tail end of Maren Morris who also is extremely talented.
Then there was Wu-Tang Clan… I grew up on hip hop in New York, so this was something that I was really looking forward to. These guys came to the festival in full force with everyone coming out: Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killa, Rza, Gza, Masta Killa, Cappadonna, U-God, Inspectah Deck and even ODB’s son!!! Here is where KAABOO failed miserably... None of their microphones worked and you could not hear them over the instrumental; it was a tragedy. A lot of people left early to head to Kings of Leon. These guys sounded great and played an awesome set.
Saturday started out with some nostalgia when we walked in hearing Blind Melon. The band had a different lead singer as you all may know the tragedy that struck the original; however, they did a pretty good job starting off the day. Cheat Codes was next on our schedule and they were about as fun of a concert as you could go to. Two guys bouncing around stage, throwing stacks of money and singing in the crowd with an electronic vibe that shook Del Mar. Bryan Adams was playing on the other side and we caught the tail end of that one as he still has ‘it’. Sublime with Rome was a pretty amazing set as well and you truly felt the Cali vibe.
In between shows we had the pleasure of hanging out with two epic humans in the media tent: Niiko X SWAE. These two are Hakkasan resident DJ’s and are playing in San Diego so give them a follow. Great guys and even better at firing up a crowd; their set came on too late for us but, we will see them at Omnia on the 22nd of November.
One Republic was amazing… They struck a chord with the crowd by discussing how song writing is such an important part of the music business and is often overlooked. From there, they played hit songs that they wrote for artists like The Jonas Brothers and even the Queen B herself; Beyoncé. This was one of my favorites for the weekend and truly left a lasting impression.
Last, but not least, for Saturday’s festivities was Dave Matthew’s Band. This impressive set included an incredible take on Peter Gabriel’s 1986 hit song, Sledgehammer. The crowd loved every minute of it, and it was a great way to kick off the end of Day 2.
Day 3 was yet another gorgeous day and we attended it late… Sorry but the drinks were flowing Saturday night. Our first show was Cash Cash and their electric flow was outstanding. We had some playing around on the swings at the Aperol Spritz tent and then we stuffed our faces with some sliders and a portobello mushroom burger from the food trucks. I simply cannot forget to mention the garlic parmesan shoestring French fries… WHOA!
Duran Duran was a must see as it brought back some memories of the 80’s. However, Sunday was all about Mumford & Sons. If you get a chance to see them anywhere in this world, you better do it. They were the perfect way to close on a great festival.
As we were exiting some rumors were being mumbled throughout the crowd of the event site moving downtown. Then was confirmed that KAABOO was moving to PETCO Park. I am not how well this is going to be received as a major part of KAABOO’s draw is the amazing venue: Del Mar Race Track. Days after this announcement was another that the event was purchased by Virgin Group Ltd. I feel that I can speak for most San Diegans when I say that I hope this festival continues for years to come.