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.
This morning was the very definition of a value buzz. I think I drank about half a light beer before I was buzzing again. Which means it took me about another 2 before I was closing in on full retard…at about 8:30 am. Thank god for the motherly instincts of Marvin, who ventured out of the campground and brought back breakfast burritos for the gang. Life saver. I was right as rain after our “campsite” neighbors came over and smoked me out. From our site we could hear Faith No More doing their sound check, which was pretty awesome but they kept playing “Midlife Crisis” right up to the climax and then stopping. At least we knew they would be playing it later.
The first band I cared about today was Eagles of Death Metal. Even though I had seen them once before, it was only for a partial set (see Street Scene 9/20/08) and without Josh Homme behind the drum kit. Not that the music had crazy drum beats or that Homme was a virtuoso drummer, but I respect him immensely as a musician from Queens of the Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures (essentially another QOTSA album with better backing musicians). They rocked and seemed like they truly enjoyed being there playing these songs for everyone.
Next up I got to see Red Fang for the first time. All it took for me to like this band was hearing the song “Wires,” which Joe turned me on to. This band was exactly what I was looking for and I was hooked after that. Rock and Roll pure and simple. Generally I prefer to see bands at their own headlining shows because they can “stretch out” and play a longer set instead of 45 minutes to an hour. One thing I do like about these festivals besides the value of so many bands for one price at one time is that the stage setup is usually stark and devoid of crazy props which allows the focus to be on power of the music. Red Fang did not need much of a production and I cannot imagine that they would have had one even if I would have seen them at a small venue by themselves.
After that was Stone Temple Pilots…sort of. It was STP but with Chester Bennington from Linkin Park singing. I LOVE Stone Temple Pilots and I like Linkin Park so I was not opposed to this arrangement but I obviously knew going in that it would not be the same as with Scott Weiland. I just looked at it like I was going to see the best STP cover band that existed. We all sang along to the songs that we loved and let a spade be a spade.
Onward to the setting sun for my third privilege of seeing Jane’s Addiction. I am not a giant Jane’s fan but they are always enjoyable to see because Perry Farrell is just the right amount of nut to make a great frontman, Dave Navarro is a guitar guru and Stephen Perkins is a monster on the drums.
Deftones played next and I must say that I think at this point I was starting to drift away to drunk island because I have no photo evidence of the show from this point on. Maybe I was just feeling it so much that I could not be bothered to distract myself from the show. I think I have seen the Deftones more than any other band (have you read the rest of the blog?) but they are always great to see. True road warriors that are no strangers to the stage. I don’t remember this set being particularly on the heavy side as far as the music was concerned. They have super heavy songs and more dreamy atmospheric-type songs and I feel like they leaned more towards the latter.
Faith No More closed out the entire festival and were the band I most looked forward to on this day. I had just seen them for the first time back in April and since then had only fallen more in love with the album Sol Invictus. The song “Sunny Side Up” had become sort of an inside joke between me and Joe and we could not stop singing that shit to each other the whole trip. The stage setup and set list were pretty darn identical to the time we saw them in April but the new songs were much more familiar at this point. I wish they would have played “Cone of Shame” or “Last Cup of Sorrow” but like the Rolling Stones said you can’t always get what you want. The song “Epic” still holds up and somehow sounds even more fierce after all these times the band has been forced to play it. There was also a pretty funny moment after they played “Midlife Crisis” when they broke into the song “End of the Road” by Boyz 2 Men. Funny Fuckers.