KAABOO Brings Music, Comedians, Artists, Cuisine, Spirits and More to Del Mar’s Fairgrounds for the Festival’s 5th Year!
Last weekend (September 13-15), the Del Mar Racetrack and Fairgrounds, located in Del Mar, California welcomed for the 5th year in a row, the music and much more festival, KAABOO Del Mar! This happened to the final year at this location as it will be moving to San Diego’s Petco Park next year.
Along with over 20 acts taking the stage, this 3-day event included PALATE (culinary) and ARTWORK (visual artist) lineups. The culinary programming featured demonstrations and gourmet tastings from celebrated culinary artisans including Michael Mina, Richard Blais, Antonia Lofaso, Nyesha Arrington, and more. In ARTWORK, globally recognized contemporary visual artists Greg Mike, Yellena James, Georgia Hill, Carly Ealey and Caia Koopman, along with over 70 additional galleries and artists showcased their work through live mural paintings, art installations, and exhibitions.
Throughout KAABOO, murals up to 30 feet tall dotted the landscape with artists at the top of their game transforming canvases into live public art pieces. Over the course of the weekend, designs shift and finished concepts were revealed making it a constantly changing environment.
Musical headliners of the weekend included Kings of Leon (Friday), Dave Matthews Band (Saturday), Mumford & Sons (Sunday), and Duran Duran, as well as comedy ninjas Bert Kreischer, Wayne Brady, Bob Saget, Tig Notaro and many more.
After announcing online that KAABOO had been sold out this year, Partner and Chief Brand + Marketing Officer, Jason Felts released, “Reaching our anticipated full sell out two years in a row is a major milestone for our 5th year of KAABOO. We are so grateful to our loyal fans for making KAABOO part of their end-of-summer plans, and for many, selecting KAABOO over other great festivals in the country and across the world.”
Friday kicked off KAABOO with incredibly hot weather and a crowd eager to start the weekend vibes early. As far as the music went, some of the bands heard throughout the day were Plain White T’s, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, REO Speedwagon, Silversun Pickups, Vintage Trouble and The Cult.
Boyz II Men were on the USAA Grandview stage and they truly brought nostalgia to the festival with a setlist that included a lot of their biggest 90’s hits. The trio currently made up of founding members, Nathan Morris, Wanna Morris and Shawn Stockman performed “Motownphilly,” “Water Runs Dry,” “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye, “End Of The Road” and “I’ll Make Love To You.” A highlight of the show was when Nathan and Shawn grabbed guitars to play a few covers including Bob Marley’s “Jammin,” Lenny Kravitz’s hits “Are You Going Go My Way” and “American Women,” Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven” and The Beatles’ “Come Together.”
Pop singer-songwriter Tori Kelly performed a stripped-down acoustic set in the tucked away Amplify Escape area which can only be accessed by VIP ticket holders and a few savvy media members. She delighted the afternoon crowd with a selection of her biggest hits including “Nobody Love,” “Unbreakable Smile,” “Should’ve Been Us” and her well-known cover of “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing” featured in the animated film, Sing.
Country crossover songstress Maren Morris took the main stage Sunset Cliffs just as the sun was setting over KAABOO. Dressed in black Daisy Dukes, the artist was upbeat and played many of her radio hits including “Halo,” “Girl,” “80s Mercedes,” “Rich,” “My Church,” “The Middle” and more. She also covered The Cardigans’ “Lovefool.” Morris shared stories about the making of songs and revealed that many of her past relationships inspired a lot of them.
Snoop Dogg and Wu-Tang Clan and Kings Of Leon wrapped up the live music portion of Friday night on the two main stages. Their shows overlapped so festival goers had to make a choice as to who they ended Day #1 with. Crowds were indeed packed for the two and finding a spot to even see the artists on stage was often difficult. Kings of Leon fans were mighty and sang along to every word of this alt-rock band’s tunes. The Nashville-based group belted out hit tracks like “Sex on Fire,” “Waste A Moment,” “Crawl,” “Knocked Up” and many more.
On the opposite side of KAABOO, Snoop Dogg was taking the audience way back to the 90’s. The 47-year-old rapper seemed to perform every song that this lively audience wanted to hear. Hits like “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” “Gin and Juice,” “Who Am I” and “Sexual Eruption” were heard. Snoop also played a couple new songs off his 17th studio album, “I Wanna Thank Me” just released last month. Along with all the fun music to dance along with, there were pole dancers book-ending the stage. Snoop Dogg occasionally would go over to them and let them take hits off his blunt. It was all very entertaining and the late night crowd loved every minute of it!
Some of the artists that performed on Saturday were Badflower, Switchfoot, Cheatcodes, Sublime With Rome, Black Eyed Peas, Blind Melon, Keuning, Squeeze and many others.
The evenings performances got started with a rousing concert by the Canadian rocker Bryan Adams. For a little over an hour, this legendary singer sang his biggest and most beloved tunes to a packed audience. Some of the hits heard were “Somebody,” “Can’t Stop This Thing We Started,” “Run To You,” “Heaven,” “Cuts Like A Knife,” “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” and of course “Summer of ’69.” He also performed a couple songs off his newest and fourteenth studio album, “Shine A Light.” From start to finish, the 59-year-old musician had absolutely everyone in attendance singing along and in the palm of his hands. They were eager for more and sad when his set was over.
Next up on this same Sunset Cliffs stage and as the sun was setting was the pop band OneRepublic. This group is currently made up of lead vocalist & multi-instrumentalist Ryan Tedder, guitarist Zach Filkins, guitarist Drew Brown, bassist and cellist Brent Kutzle, drummer Eddie Fisher and keyboardist Brian Willett. They played all their big radio hits including “Counting Stars,” “Stop and Stare,” “Good Life,” “Apologize, “”I Lived” and newer songs “Wanted” and “Rescue Me.” They also surprised everyone when they performed Beyonce’s hits “Halo” and “XO.” OneRepublic front-man Ryan Tedder in fact explained that he was a part of the writing teams behind them. Tedder did spend quite a bit of their set talking about how important songwriters are in the music industry and how happy he was to have been a part of these songs.
Shortly after OneRepublic’s set ended, Dave Matthews Band took over the stage. Immediately the crowd rushed over and filled any empty spaces. The jam band truly jammed for roughly two hours and entertained everyone by playing many of their greatest hits. Some of the tracks heard were “So Much To Say,” “Too Much,” “Don’t Drink The Water,” “What Would You Say,” “Everyday,” “Jimi Thing,” “You & Me,” “Tripping Billies,” “Ants Marching” and many others. They also played their usual renditions of Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer,” AC/DC’s “Back In Black” mashed with Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” and Steve Miller Band’s “Fly Like An Eagle.” People were dancing and singing along through this entire show. Dave Matthews was the very definition of a seasoned performer. From beginning to end, he gave all that he had on that stage and the crowd loved every minute of it.
Thankfully on Sunday, there was some cloud cover so there was a slight reprieve from the sweltering late summer heat. The musicians that performed on the final day of KAABOO included The Revivalists, Lifehouse, Cash Cash, Xavier Rudd, Edie Brickell & New Bohemians and many others.
The Bangles were just one of the many throwback bands that performed at this year’s KAABOO Del Mar. Looking and sounding incredible, the ladies brought many of their beloved 80’s tunes including “A Hazy Shade of Winter,” “Manic Monday,” “Going Down to Liverpool,” “If She Knew What She Wants,” “In Your Room” and wrapped their set with “Walk Like A Egyptian” and “Eternal Flame.” They shared a little about the making of some of the songs and what it was like forming in 1981 in Susanna Hoff’s parent’s garage. After only meeting once, they decided to start this group because of their shared love for The Beatles.
Shortly thereafter on the same stage, it was time for the well-known singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow’s show. She actually performed at the very first KAABOO and she told the crowd, she was very happy to be asked back again. At 57-years-old, Crow certainly knows how to entertain a crowd. For about an hour, she performed many of her greatest hits, including “If It Makes You Happy,” “All I Wanna Do,” “My Favorite Mistake,” “Steve McQueen,” “Soak Up The Sun” and others. She also sang a couple tracks off her just released eleventh studio album, “Threads” including “Prove You Wrong” and “Tell Me When It’s Over.” She was comfortable and completely at ease on stage. At one point, she even got down off it and shook hands with fans.
Across the venue, Colbie Caillat was effortlessly performing her breezy and romantic tunes and certainly getting her audience in a lovey-dovey mood. She performed “I Never Told You,” “Fallin’ For You,” “Try,” “Brighter Than The Sun,” “Bubbly” and more. Along with all of these crowd favorites, the singer also covered Bob Marley’s “Turn Your Lights Down Low.”
Immediately following Ms. Caillat’s show, the 80’s new wave band Duran Duran began playing “Hungry Like The Wolf” on the stage just next-door. For about an hour and a half, the group performed their biggest hits and had the packed audience dancing and singing along to every word. Duran Duran was formed in Birmingham in 1978. They achieved 14 singles in the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart and 21 in the US Billboard Hot 100 and have sold over 100 million records worldwide. Wearing a neon green jacket for most of the set, Duran Duran lead singer Simon Le Bon was a joy to watch. He seemed happy on stage and was smiling and moving all over. After a couple songs, he asked the audience if they had a good weekend?! To this, everyone screamed and shouted “I Love Yous” back at him. Other hits heard during their set were “I Don’t Want Your Love,” “A View To A Kill,” “The Reflex,” “The Chauffeur,” “Ordinary World,” “Pressure Off,” “Girls on Film” and they ended the set with the lively and energetic “Rio.”
At the other end of the festival and truly wrapping up the live music for KAABOO Del Mar was Mumford and Sons. The British folk-rock band is made up of Marcus Mumford (lead vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, drums), Ben Lovett (vocals, keyboard, piano, synthesizer), Winston Marshall (vocals, electric guitar, banjo) and Ted Dwane (vocals, bass guitar, double bass). They played many of their hits, including “Little Lion Man,” “Babel,” Guiding Light,” “The Cave,” “Lover of the Light,” “The Wolf,” “I Will Wait,” “Delta” and many others. These guys certainly played their hearts out for their entire set. At one point, front-man Marcus Mumford even walked down way into the back of the crowd to shake hands and take selfies with people. The full crowd clapped and danced the whole time.
While music festivals certainly aren’t for everyone, KAABOO is one that absolutely everyone can find something to enjoy. Whether it be the delicious food and fancy cocktail options, the laughs to be had listening to comedians, the stunning pieces of artwork being created or of course the countless bands to be heard, there truly is something for everyone at a festival like KAABOO. Speaking of bands, a festival like this one is an incredible way of catching a lot of them all in one place. They are also more likely to play their greatest hits so you are bound to know more songs. KAABOO Del Mar was indeed a perfect way to wrap up the summer!
To purchase passes or learn more about KAABOO 2020, visit- www.kaaboosd.com