Recap: KAABOO Day 2
By Spike Brendle
I made my way back to the festival on day 2, just in time to catch thenewno2, who started at 2. For those who are unfamiliar, this is George Harrison’s son, Dhani Harrison’s band. Their brand of neo-psych rock would have been better served later in the evening, beneath a super trippy light show. Regardless, this being my first time seeing them left me on positive note. I wish I had listened to them more prior to seeing them!
The next act, Rodrigo y Gabriela, is one of my all time favorites to see live. I first was introduced to them at Bonnaroo 2007. Reading through the Bonnaroo program, their bio seemed interesting enough, “two acoustic guitar players that came from a metal band in Mexico City, that also utilize their guitar bodies for percussion while playing.” I have been following them ever since, and they never let me down. Their YouTube videos are amazing, but make sure you have a lot of free time prior to watching because when you start, you won’t want to stop.
The Roots took time away from their job as Jimmy Fallon’s house band to come play in San Diego. If I could hire any band for a party, school dance, wedding, or whatever event, it would definitely be The Roots. They have a way of electrifying the crowd with happiness and the urge to dance. Jeremy Ellis was center stage, with his MIDI controllers and flowing red head of hair. The band started passing off solos, and once it was his turn he straight went nuts. Once he started playing the MIDI pads with his face, he either proved that he’s the best in the game, or that all this live electronic music is very easy. I just feel bad for his face.
Through my explorations I finally made it to the VIP pool area, which basically looked like a hotel pool in Vegas. It had lounge chairs, umbrellas, cabanas, even a volleyball court. All of this looks over the main stage, and I’m sure costs a fortune to get in. This is when I realized how ritzy this festival really is. I don’t even want to know how much these passes cost. What kind of people buy these? Where do they work? Did they pay for their friends' passes too? Too many non-music-related questions running through my mind, I had to get out of there. Before leaving, I was able to catch the first few songs from Counting Crows up there, and yes they sound just like they did the last time you heard them.
Slightly Stoopid is a band I have also been familiar with for a long time. I believe it was the summer after eighth grade that my dad took me to see them at the House of Blues in Anaheim…2001 maybe? Their album Acoustic Roots: Live & Direct was a big part of my life at that point, and definitely expanded my musical horizons from that moment on. They played flawlessly through their discography, and thanked the crowd for having them back and coming to see them. Seeing them tonight brought me right back to those carefree times, and I took a moment to reconnect with my younger self.
Young the Giant played at a stage backing up to the race track, allowing the use of the grandstands for watching. There was a big crowd in the stands, as well as stage front waiting for them to come on, and once they did the crowd went nuts. They had one of the better light shows so far, and their high energy performance was displayed perfectly because of this. It seems as if half the bands playing here are from Southern California, as Young the Giant claimed this as a “homecoming” show, along with many others this weekend.
The rest of my night was spent between Zac Brown Band and Spoon. I wanted to make sure and catch both of them, since I hadn’t seen either before. Zac Brown Band was on point, and exactly what I expected. They threw me for a loop once they went for the cover of “Enter Sandman,” which I thoroughly enjoyed. Spoon was entertaining, although not as captivating as I was hoping for. I stuck around for a bit, but decided to head back to my car in order to get out in five minutes compared to the hour it took me the night prior. Don’t hate on me; I gave them a chance, but they just didn’t do it for me.
Day two done, day three here we come!