KAABOO 2016 - A Little Kaa Boom and a Little More Kaa Bust

KAABOO tagged itself as “The Ultimate Mix Experience” and no one could argue that the three day lineup would have any music fan salivating. But while acts had big names and lived up to their billing, all was not good in Del Mar.

Lenny Kravitz (Photo by Stephan Martin)

Day Two of KABOO, Third Eye Blind, Lenny Kravitz, Aerosmith, Goo Goo Dolls and Collective Soul were among the big names performing and who can argue with such a lineup and then the evening closed out with Ludacris and Steve Aoki. Those last two acts, well that turned into a fiasco with the stage not having enough room for everyone who wanted in and things got a little too rambunctious for KAABOO, the security and the police.  This caused a great number of fans being forced to exit. Bad news for attendees, as then they were treated to a two hour stay in the parking lot. Is that the worst of it, maybe, it depends on your perspective.

Lenny Kravitz (Photo by Stephan Martin)

If you were at the main stage you just might have been able to witness the four P’s.  If you aren’t familiar to these, and I wasn’t before today, the four P’s include; pushing, puking, peeing and passing out. Yes, all four of those were witnessed and while some of those happen, when you do it with no room to move, this makes things a little more unsettling. I don’t blame the guests as much as I blame KAABOO. Shove as many people as possible tell them to just keep pushing to get closer to the stage and you have almost no room to move or breathe and very little ability to exit this sardine can.

Third Eye Blind (Photo by Stephan Martin)

KAABOO has plenty of blame for what was an oversold event but they did do one thing right, they booked the acts. On this amazing Saturday of music I don’t know who had more energy, Stephen Jenkins, lead singer of Third Eye Blind, or Lenny Kravitz. Let’s not kid ourselves, it was clearly the three backup singers for Lenny, they were worth the price of admission all by themselves. If you have not had the chance to see these two acts, Stephen and Lenny seem to be symbiotic twins. They both bleed music and the love they have for performing live bleeds into their words and stage presence.

Third Eye Blind (Photo by Stephan Martin)

Having witnessed Third Eye Blind, I knew full well going into this event they would not disappoint, simply one of the best live bands around that simply doesn’t get anywhere near the credit they deserve. Having a monster album right out of the gates in 1997, maybe people have waited for more of the same. Instead while not attaining that commercial success ever again, Third Eye Blind continues to crank out masterful music and always will put on a great show and makes sure fans hear all the hits and seeing a crowd go wild to “Semi-Charmed Life” is something to see.

Trestles Stage (Photo by Stephan Martin)

Third Eye Blind was followed by Lenny Kravitz and while being a fan I had never seen him live. Well that was a mistake on my part; Lenny simply pulls the audience into his “Let Love Rule” way of life and never lets them go. While Lenny obviously is the icon, he gives love throughout the show, and well deserved, to everyone on stage with him. Lenny has surrounded himself with amazing musicians and singers at every spot and the fans reap the rewards of the music these talents put out.

Amazing Stage (Photo by Stephan Martin)

The night ended with the icons Aerosmith. Aerosmith played every song, Steven Tyler seemed to hit every note and the band sounded like you were listening to them on the radio, they were that crisp. But much like KAABOO you were left with a twinge or more of disappointment. Steven clearly was more in love with the video cameras that were taping the show than with the fans. It really didn’t seem to ruin the evening for anyone other than me, but I just would have rather had Steven make love to the audience with his music than a camera lens.

Beyond a packed house (Photo by Stephan Martin)

The other downfall that goes with these big name acts is that making your way to the different stages took quite a bit of work as well as time. And don’t think that you are going to catch Collective Soul and Third Eye Blind and Lenny Kravitz, trust me, it wasn’t going to happen.

One last note about KAABOO and it is commonplace at most live events; there is a sponsor and ad for anything and everything. By the end of the event I thought that KAABOO had gotten a sponsor’s name tattooed on my forehead up one entrance without me knowing about it. Hopefully my check will be coming in the mail. With the high cost of these tickets do we really need to see a logo every five feet as we walk? With all of these sponsors can we find tickets a little cheaper, parking less than $30 dollars or beer for less than $12?  

At the end of the day, or weekend, KAABOO did what they set out to; they made a big pile of money. Can I blame them for that? No. Did I hear some great music? Yes. Would I ever do it again? NO! I certainly wouldn’t tell anyone not to attend next year, maybe they will work out some of the kinks, but then again maybe they won’t. But I will give KAABOO a one and done status and I will save my money for reserved seats next time Third Eye Blind or Lenny Kravitz comes to town.

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