Dan Siebold

KAABOO Festival Part 1 @ Del Mar Fairgrounds – 09/15/2017

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Red Hot Chili Peppers @ KAABOO Del MarWith what has been described as the ultimate ‘mixperience’, KAABOO returned to the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego on September 15-17. The 3rd year festival merges top tier music acts, world class cuisine, comedy and artwork into a cohesive experience that each year continues to expand. The 3 day festival showcased headliners P!nk, Muse, Tommy Petty & The Hearbreakers and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

A stellar opening day lineup included Weezer, David Guetta, Kesha, X Ambassadors, Smash Mouth, an appearance by DJ Diesel (best known to the everyone as NBA legend, Shaquille O’Neal) and the closers of night 1, Red Hot Chili Peppers. With 4 individual stages spread out over the expansive fairgrounds, there is never a dull moment, offering multiple opportunities to catch sets from various acts. In addition to the numerous musical options, Friday’s comedy lineup included veterans Arsenio Hall, Nick Swardson with headliner Patton Oswalt filling up the HUMOR ME pavilion.

Early arriving attendees on Friday afternoon were able to catch Smash Mouth on the GRANDVIEW Stage. The ‘second’ stage was relocated this year (due in large part to logistical and safety reasons) from the horse track infield to newly created space in the parking lot. The band spit out all of their radio friendly hits, including “Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby”, “Walkin’ On The Sun”, “Then The Morning Comes”, “I’m A Believer” and set closer “All Star”. Lead singer, Steve Harrell appeared fully recovered from a health scare just two weeks ago. Prior to a Memphis gig, he had to call an Uber to rush him to an emergency room with respiratory issues. With all that apparently behind him, the band powered through a solid 13 song set before giving way to a former NBA MVP and Hall of Fame.

DJ Diesel (Shaq) threw together a wide ranging set of music that opened with Linkin Park and also included cuts from Bon Jovi, Journey and AC/DC. The behemoth former center represented his former team with a t-shirt and even invited fans with Lakers gear on to dance onstage during his hour long set.

If you were lucky, you even stumbled across R&B singer Kelis on the PALATE Stage. The artist, best known for her 2003 hit “Milkshake” took her turn at showcasing her culinary skills during an hour long Q&A and cooking expo. Now a full-fledged chef, she has authored cookbooks and attended the prestigious Le Cordon Blue culinary school.

Smash Mouth @ KAABOO Del MarOver at SUNSET CLIFFS (the ‘main’ stage), only 3 acts were scheduled on Friday. X Ambassadors, dressed all in black, played a passionate set that incorporated their two biggest tunes to date, the catchy “Unsteady” and prior to performing their megahit “Renegades”, lead singer Sam Harris pleaded with the audience to “not be afraid” and to speak out about racism, homophobia and xenophobia.

Weezer was granted with the precious sunset time slot at 7pm. With the sun setting just over stage right into the Pacific Ocean, the band came out blazin’ with “Hash Pipe”. The LA-based band showed off their extensive catalog of hits during their nearly 90 minute, 16 song set. Mixing in two covers, the first a rousing take on Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” and the second a solo by lead singer, Rivers Cuomo on Mike Posner’s EDM-heavy hit “I Took A Pill in Ibiza”. The veteran band always brings a party with them and this evening they entertained the audience from start to finish with hits “Beverly Hills”, “Undone – The Sweater Song”, “Island In The Sun” and “Say It Ain’t So”. They even had time for a quick encore, throwing out “El Scorcho” prior to finishing up strong with “Buddy Holly”.

A short half hour stage changeover kept many of the thousands of fans in their spot to witness a headlining show from Rock & Roll Hall of Famers, the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The punk/funk/rock/rap band from LA is now inexplicably in their 34th year together. You quite honestly forget sometimes how many hits RHCP have, this evening they made sure that they reminded everyone in attendance with a career-spanning 16 song set. While many of the millennials in attendance gravitated to David Guetta’s EDM dance party over on the Grandview Stage (which started 30 minutes prior the RHCP set),  a large middle aged demographic filled the sand filled venue which by all estimations has a capacity of roughly 40,000.

Opening with a quick intro jam showcasing bassist Flea, drummer Chad Smith and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, the crowd went crazy as the band segued  into “Can’t Stop”, which also saw lead singer Anthony Kiedis join the band on stage. Sporting a vintage Oakland Raiders shirt, the expressive frontman immediately brought his high energy to the show. “Snow (Hey Oh)” and “The Zephyr Song” quickly followed before the band allowed anyone to take a breath.

They incorporated four songs off their recent release, The Getaway, with the lead single “Dark Necessities” clearly the fan favorite. Classic hits “Californication”, “Tell Me Baby”, “Suck My Kiss”, “Soul To Squeeze” and “By The Way” all brought down the house prior to a brief encore of “Goodbye Angels” and “Give It Away”. With two days still to follow, RHCP helped put an emphatic exclamation point on day one at KAABOO.

Red Hot Chili Peppers Photo Gallery

Weezer Photo Gallery

Smash Mouth Photo Gallery

DJ Diesel Photo Gallery

Kelis Photo Gallery

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