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 Larry 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…
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 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.