Kaaboo 9/17/17

2017_Comedy Lineup

Kaaboo Day 3

We had a couple of hours to get our shit together this morning before we had to catch the bus and it was quite literally the struggle bus. Two days of constant drinking in the sun on your feet will do that to a person but here we were about to do it for the third day in a row. You only live once, right?

T-Pain took the stage immediately after we arrived. I am not a fan whatsoever but he is one of those guys that you cannot really avoid exposure to unless you are living under a rock. Ingrid loved it. I do have to give credit where credit is due though and say I respected his enthusiasm and control of the crowd. There is something to be said about someone performing that looks like they are actually enjoying what they are doing.

We did run into Larry and Christina but he understandably did not want any part of our madness since he had to get on a 4:30 am flight the next day.

The first band I wanted to see was Live, who I had only seen one other time WAY back in 1995 at the height of their popularity when the album Throwing Copper was fairly new. I have always been a big fan and they sounded great. It must be weird for a band to go from headlining festivals to playing during the day on a Sunday at one but they took it in stride and killed it. It was an interesting choice to throw covers of “I Walk The Line” by Johnny Cash and “Like A Stone” by Audioslave into an already shortened set but it sounded really good.

At this point we were able to meet back up with Keith, Sierra, Keith’s friend Chris and his girlfriend to watch Alanis Morrisette. There is exactly one song of hers that I really like (Joining You) which I knew she would not play but I respect her as a talent. It was shocking to see her as a bleach blonde and playing a shimmery Stratocaster for about 1/3 of the songs but she was good. I’m sure her hardcore fans left satisfied.

The grand finale of the night and festival as a whole was none other than Mr. Tom Petty. This was my third time seeing him but the last time was about seven years before this. What can I say? He and the Heartbreakers crushed it in a way that you can only crush it from doing it as long as they have been doing it. They sounded fucking fantastic. If they sound great through laptop speakers on a YouTube video that was taken with a shitty phone camera then you can imagine how good they sounded in person. I did not get to hear my favorite tunes “Breakdown” and “You Got Lucky” but they played for a solid two hours and “Refugee” was about as good as it gets.

Once the bus dropped us off we made our Lyft driver take us through the Arby’s drive through. Three days might have been a bit much but all in all Kaboo was a success despite spending over $100 each per day on alcohol. Until next year…

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Kaaboo 9/16/17

2017_Comedy Lineup

Kaaboo Day 2

To avoid sleeping in the car, booking an overly expensive hotel room or paying for a surge-pricing Uber we opted for a charter bus option that Kaaboo organizers set up for this year. The pickup/dropoff location was just down the road from our place, there were multiple time options and as a bonus we could drink on the way.

We awoke to a surprise text from our friend Dave who recently moved back to San Diego and informed us that not only was he going to go to Kaaboo with us today, but he was actually outside our place. Time to put some pants on. Our missing friends from the previous day Jane and Calvin planned on having people over at their pool for a little pre-party since they live just a short walk away from the Del Mar Fairgrounds. After we were unable to convince our bus driver that did not speak a lick of English to drop us off at their place we made the hike only to find Jane getting over a sickness and Calvin looking a little pale. They powered through and soon Larry, Christina, Bob and Bob’s brother-in-law showed up. By this time our friend Dave had downed a fifth of vodka and had stripped down to his underwear to get into the pool. He met his match in the form of Bob’s brother-in-law (who I had never met before) who was on the exact same level. On the walk over to the fairgrounds Bob’s brother-in-law decided to urinate on a sign at the busiest intersection of the entire area, which also happened to be approximately four feet from a woman who was throwing up. This was at about three in the afternoon so we were off to a great start.

Garbage was the first band of the day that I cared to see. It was at this stage we met up with Kyle and Sierra to enjoy a performance that was as fiery as Shirley Manson’s short red hair. It had been quite some time since I had seen them but they quickly reminded me of why I like them.

Jane’s Addiction was next up and they appeased my desire to hear “Mountain Song” and “Stop!” Always an enjoyable band to watch. Perry Farrell is a nut and each individual musician is borderline virtuoso.

The artist that I really wanted to see outside of my usual wheelhouse was Ice Cube. I love his fuck-you attitude and the guy is a legend. “It Was A Good Day” was the first rap song I can actually remember liking. “Fuck Da Police” and “Check Yo Self” were awesome. Ice Cube lived up my lofty expectations but unfortunately my good day ended without seeing him perform “It Was A Good Day” because I did not want to miss a note of Muse, who was set to start the moment Ice Cube’s time was over and it was a good 10 minute walk to get to the opposing stage.

Muse was incredible. The opening sequence of the new song “Dig Down” from the yet unreleased new album followed by “Pyscho” and “Hysteria” had me beside myself. The production of this show was not nearly what it was the first time I saw them but to be fair this was a festival setting versus their own show. Regardless they knocked my drunk socks clean off. I especially liked when they laced in Rage Against the Machine’s “Freedom” right before they played the ending of “Reapers” because I always thought the two songs shared a common thread. It was almost as if to say, “yeah we know it sounds like that song, but we’re trying to pay homage, not totally rip it off.” This also makes complete sense because Matt Bellamy shreds on guitar right up there with the likes of Tom Morello.

Thankfully the return bus we needed to board was directly behind the stage where Muse played. Once we got home our neighbor across the hall that we had only met once came out of nowhere at 1 am with a six pack of beer wanting to party. It was weird but I let her in and left her with our extremely dunzo friend Dave while I went to the bedroom to get an equally dunzo Ingrid. The neighbor quickly realized what kind of shitshow she walked in on and promptly excused herself. Good times.

Kaaboo 9/15/17

2017_Comedy Lineup

Kaaboo Day 1

This was the third installment of the annual Kaaboo Festival and instead of only going one day like we did last year for our first Kaaboo experience, Ingrid and I got a ticket for all three days. Ingrid was not very excited about Friday’s lineup but the geniuses running the show gave three day ticket holders one bracelet (once again in an unnecessary box that surely jacked up the price) good for all three days which effectively made it impossible to sell any of your days as a one day pass.

Arseniooooooooooo Halllllllllllll! was pretty funny and a good way to start off a 3 day jaunt into debauchery. Much to my chagrin we left halfway through his set to go check out DJ Diesel a.k.a. Shaq. He seems like a cool guy but does not have “mad DJ skills.” He just kept pushing buttons and saying something to the effect of “hit the free throw son.”

After Shaq we were able to meet up with our friends Larry, Christina, Bob, his buddy Tim, Kyle, Sierra, Meredith and our long lost friend Mike who had just moved back from Arizona to catch Weezer, which was the first band I was looking forward to. They have become a sort of institution at Del Mar every summer but they seemed a bit off. They were awesome as always but Rivers seemed like he was a little depressed which translated to “phoning it in.”

The main draw today was Red Hot Chili Peppers. This is one of the only bands that have eluded me throughout the years. A rare occasion I got to cross a band that I wanted to see but had never seen off the list. After losing my wife to a competing stage I found they were nothing short of fantastic. True professionals in every sense. The “new” guitar player Josh Klinghoffer meshed with Flea swimmingly. Although I was not lucky enough to hear “Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik,” I did get to witness an on point rendition of “Suck My Kiss.”

I forgot my “cookies” at work but met a nice lad that let me take a few pulls from his joint so there was no shortage of “enhancement” after drinking all day. Then in a strange turn of events he offered me some LSD. My initial reaction was no funking way, then I thought maybe I would get it from him to hold for a future date, then I decided to take it on the spot and then I realized after awhile it was bunk. No dice. He claimed he was on it but it did not do shit to me and I know what acid is supposed to feel like. In hindsight this was probably a good thing.

I never did see our friends Jane and Calvin although Ingrid ran into them. Without a real getaway plan we just slept it off in the car for a few hours and drove home.

Royal Blood 8/15/17

RoyalBloodTicket

A couple years ago a rare radio listen (I never listen to the radio) introduced me to “Out of the Black” which I immediately dug. This was the first “new” band I had been excited about for quite some time. That excitement grew once I found out all that sound was coming from just two dudes. What sent me even farther over the edge is when I found out Mike Kerr was essentially doing what Scott from Local H does but on a bass guitar (he is playing guitar and bass simultaneously on a bass and it sounds so fucking cool)!

I had no idea they were coming to town until the same coworker that recently hooked me up with Chevelle tickets clued me in. I also had no idea that they had released a new album on June 16th called How Did We Get So Dark? I had never seen Royal Blood and I had also never attended a concert at the Observatory North Park Theatre. After a couple failed attempts at buying tickets at the box office to save some coin this show was a done and done.

After Bob picked me up and we passed a wrap around line to park in a clusterfuck of a beehive garage across the street from the venue, we walked over to a newer eatery called Street Car Merchants to meet up with our fellow attendee JD. Once we were told it would be an hour wait for food we wisely walked across the street to Crazee Burger where I enjoyed a cajun burger with onion rings, a Dead Pan Pilsner and a “cookie” – wink wink. We had just enough time after this to live out our bum fantasy of brown bagging a tall boy Pacifico from the liquor store and walking down “memory lane” where Bob used to live.

The Observatory adjoins the West Coast Tavern and shares a bar/bathroom so I had severe déjà vu the second we walked in to use the restroom. Once Bob kept the tall boy train rolling by ordering a round of PBR we walked down to properly claim a spot to watch. We skipped the opening band Welles and by this time we were mere minutes away from show time so the place was packed. We managed to get a spot in the very back of the lowest section, which I’m sure made a lot of people happy since all three of us are over six feet tall.

Royal Blood’s stage show was the exact one that you see in their video for “Hook, Line & Sinker.” Two dudes and a backdrop consisting of a series of poles that light up in different configurations. They sounded exactly as good as they sounded on their albums and that is not a bad thing: straight ahead rock but with a unique setup. I’m sure the second round of PBR tall boys courtesy of JD did not hurt anything either. The only problem with the tall boys was that JD was ready for my round way before me and we had not yet heard “Loose Change,” “Figure It Out,” or “Out of the Black.” Of course right after I said, “let me wait until after I hear which song they will play next,” they ripped into “Figure It Out.” I thought I could sneak back to the bar immediately when they finished so started heading that way and what comes on? “Loose Change” – the song I wanted to hear the most! Then who do I see on the way to the bar? That’s right, my coworker with her fiancé that I had never met but felt like I had from all the chatter about him. I did manage to catch about a minute of the song and all was right with the world. My favorite moment came about here when Mike said, “Let me introduce you to the rest of the band,” then left the perfect amount of comedic timing beats followed by “Ben Thatcher on drums.” Then Ben came out from behind his drum kit and did this thing where he walked fairly far into the crowd on the hands of people holding him up…awesome. The show fittingly ended where my exposure to Royal Blood first started – with “Out of the Black.”

The next day I text my buddy Ross a picture from this show and he text me right back saying he was literally watching them on James Corden right at that moment and they were wearing the same clothes. My guess is that they filmed in L.A. and came down after the taping…or maybe they only own one set of clothes. Either way pretty random.

SETLIST: Where Are You Now?, Lights Out, Come on Over, I Only Lie When I Love You, Little Monster, Hook, Line & Sinker, Blood Hands, She’s Creeping, Hold in Your Heart, Figure It Out, Loose Change, Ten Tonne Skeleton, Out of the Black

Metallica 8/6/17

MetallicaPetcoTicket

So it seems I am on the see Metallica every 10 years train because the last time I saw them was at the KROQ Weenie Roast back in 2008 and the time before that was Lollapalooza 1996 at the Gorge. I caught wind of a presale after they announced a stop at Petco Park in support of their newest album Hardwired…To Self Destruct that was released on 11/18/16. I could have bought seats anywhere in the place with the presale but decided to buy reasonable seats to save a little coin since I had seen them up close at the Gorge. Bob text me months later asking if I would rather be on the floor. Of course I would but did not want to double the price. He apparently worked some magic and found floor tickets for the same price so I sold the two tickets I purchased to our friend Kyle.

At the last minute Larry and Meredith decided they wanted to go and found some tickets. After meeting at my place and blowing Meredith’s mind that you could get away with drinking in an Uber we met up with Larry’s cousin, Kyle and his friend at a place downtown adjacent to the ballpark called Rare Form for a couple beers. Everything was going swimmingly until we went to go in and learned that Larry and Meredith had paid $145 each for fake tickets and would not be coming in. Talk about a buzz kill. To make matters worse I had somehow dropped the doobie I had in my pocket on the ground when I was taking everything out of my pockets to prepare for the metal detector.

Once inside things quickly took a turn for the better as some random guy offered me a high powered cannabis “gummy” for reasons still unbeknownst to me. We had just enough time to grab a beer and wander onto the floor section before Metallica started (yes we skipped all opening bands including Avenged Sevenfold for which I harbor a particular disdain for). It felt like the show was sold out but we still had plenty of space around us to be comfortable and move about the floor. Their giant stage backed with equally impressive projection screens was the largest I think I have ever seen and this ranks as one of if not the loudest concerts I have ever been to. I quickly realized that there was a colossal difference between seeing them headline their own tour versus playing on a festival bill like I had the other two times. A spectacular pyrotechnics and laser display worked in unison with the projected images to accompany the music to epic effect. The band genuinely seemed to be enjoying the night and (as one would expect) was tight. In a nod to Cliff Burton, Robert nailed his “Anesthesia” bass solo as images of Cliff were projected onto the screens. The new stuff was good but the old stuff just flat out rocked. What a fitting grand finale of three concerts in four days…Wow. These guys at whatever age they are still crush it.

SETLIST: Hardwired, Atlas, Rise!, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Creeping Death, The Unforgiven, Now That We’re Dead, Moth Into Flame, Wherever I May Roam, Halo On Fire, Whiplash, Sad But True, One, Master of Puppets, Fade to Black, Seek & Destroy, Fight Fire With Fire, Nothing Else Matters, Enter Sandman

 

Eagles of Death Metal 8/4/17

EODMDelMar

It had been almost two years since the last time I saw Eagles of Death Metal when I saw them at Aftershock. The Del Mar horse races have “4 O’Clock Fridays” during the regular race season which includes a free concert after the last race. I usually only go to the races once a year and strategically plan to go when a cool band is playing. This was that occasion.

Larry was actually down to go this time (he bailed on Ministry) so I met him for a couple beers at a stuffy place not meant for lowlifes like ourselves called Red Tracton’s before we headed across the street into the races. I planned on meeting up with Dee, who I had not seen in several months, once inside and ironically right after we came in as I was texting him saw his good buddies Jesse and Julian walking by as I was waiting for Larry to relieve himself. It turns out they were looking for him too and we met up with him just around the corner. After a couple beers and many laughs we made our way toward the stage.

Once we got there I was in shock. The place was empty! I had seen several concerts here and all of them were packed – except this one. I would venture to say that it was about 1/3 capacity. Maybe the band’s name scared people away but I would say they lean way more towards the Eagles than death metal. Their loss. The band was still touring for the now almost two-year-old Zipper Down album and it was on from the start as Jesse “Boots Electric” Hughes took the stage by riding a motorcycle across it. From there the band set the tone by launching into “I Only Want You.” I knew the universe was with us when we got away with smoking a joint despite security guards walking by every five minutes. Boots made a point of this being the only time he played a horse track and said he had lots of family there at the show. He also made a point of saying guitarist Dave Catching’s name a dozen plus times. Dave is all ZZ Top beard, no face and killed it on his Flying V, especially on a fantastic cover of David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream.” Maybe it was the pot but I had not noticed how good of a guitar player Boots was until this time seeing him. The female pigtailed bass player that Dee had a crush on and the drummer held down the rhythm section quite well also. I really wanted to hear “Cherry Cola” and the band obliged. One other memorable moment was when they started playing “Save a Prayer.” I could not figure out why everyone except for me was singing along with this song yet I somehow felt like I knew it. Then I said, “Is this Duran Duran?” to which I was greeted with a look I can only describe as “DUH!” (Full Disclaimer: I do not actually own Zipper Down and apparently have been living under a rock for the last two years.) Overall they crushed it. No Homme on drums and Boots did not really hit the high notes but crushed it. The exit in a King’s robe was a nice touch as well.

SETLIST: I Only Want You, Don’t Speak (I Came to Make a Bang!), Complexity, Save A Prayer, Whorehoppin’ (Shit, Goddamn), Silverlake (K.S.O.F.M.), Cherry Cola, The Reverend, I Like to Move in the Night, Secret Plans, Flames Go Higher, Wannabe in L.A., Heart On/I Love You All The Time, Moonage Daydream, I Want You So Hard (Boy’s Bad News), Speaking In Tongues

Chevelle 8/3/17

Chevelle8:3:17

This show had been on my radar for months but I could not get a solid commitment from anyone to join me. I am not beyond going by myself but have seen Chevelle many times. Just as I accepted the fact that I probably was not going to go to the now sold out show a coworker came up to me about noon on this day and asked me if I wanted two tickets to the show. I asked how much she wanted and her response was that she wanted nothing; she just wanted the tickets to go to a good home. Free is a hard price to turn down so I immediately text Bob and gave him the first right of refusal. Refuse he did not. After a Mike Hess Grapefruit Solis in the car and failed attempt at smoking the remains of what was left from the Ministry show we made our way to the upstairs bar at the House of Blues just as the last opening band was leaving the stage. When you have been to as many concerts as we have you become very good at estimating what time the band you actually want to see will be going on. We gravitated to the same spot I had stood last time and everything was going great until somebody nearby farted. Seriously. The most putrid odor threatened my enjoyment of the show again and again. Outside of the stinky butt bandit this was one of the best times I have ever seen Chevelle. It had been about three years since the last time I saw them, which also happened to be at this very venue. This tour was to support their eighth album The North Corridor that was released in July of 2016. I very much enjoyed the tasty “Door to Door Cannibals” for the first time live. Apparently this was one of the last shows of the tour so they were nice and warmed up. They favored the album Wonder What’s Next from the start by opening with “Family System,” then played “Closure” mid-set and closed with “The Red,” “Send The Pain Below,” “Comfortable Liar” and “Forfeit” as their encore.

Below video clip I stole from YouTube = Awesome audio, Shit video of “An Island”