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Concert Photography, Concert Reviews, Kaaboo Del Mar 2015, Music

Review/Photos: Kaaboo Del Mar 2015 – No Doubt, Zac Brown Band, Snoop Dogg

By: Ronnie Livias | Photos by: Krystyn Bristol, C Flanigan, & Christopher Victorio – 

Gwen Stefani of No Doubt performing at the 2015 Kaaboo Del Mar Festival at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on Sept. 18, 2015 in Del Mar, CA. (Photo: C Flanigan/WireImage)

Gwen Stefani of No Doubt performing at the 2015 Kaaboo Del Mar Festival at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on Sept. 18, 2015 in Del Mar, CA. (Photo: C Flanigan/WireImage)

The name Kaaboo bears a good vibration, as did experiencing the first steps onto the grounds of the first ever Kaaboo Festival in Del Mar, CA. With powerhouse names like Snoop Dogg, Foster The People, Sheryl Crow and No Doubt, Kaaboo was surely set to have a euphoric first day of operation.

In addition to the seven stage and 34 artist lineup for the day, Kaaboo greeted us with a vast array of food and beverage choices; from the traditional garlic Parmesan fries and spicy pie, to the more ethnic palates of jambalaya and pad Thai cuisine, and even the more high-end flavors of crab salad, lobster and other seafood dishes. Kaaboo took ample use of the large fairgrounds of the Del Mar arena, sparing no loss of an area without an attraction, art piece, aesthetic or construction by the careful design of the festival planners. Overall, the fest is gigantic, but each corner of the festival grounds held new excitement to be discovered.

From the first moments upon arrival there stood structures covered by large printed banners of different art pieces behind a bronze statue that seemed to greet attendees with his happy, ecstatic and inviting demeanor. The following steps in were just as momentous, where the color schemes of black, light grey and green were visible atop each booth naming exactly what you could find there.

Friday’s favorites included Fitz & the Tantrums, Bonnie Raitt, The Dirty Heads, Los Lobos, Sheryl Crow, Snoop Dogg, and of course, headliner No Doubt. Crowds continued to flood in and out as set times progressed and schedule times allotted crowds to trek to the next stage and acts, however those dedicated to see the artists performing remained for the entirety of the set. Gwen Stefani’s vocals had the crowd traveling inside a time capsule from 1997, playing No Doubt’s greatest hits to the giant crowd that amassed.

“I really just want this to be the best No Doubt concert [ever, in the history of No Doubt]. So let’s just do that, okay?” said Stefani to the crowd of thousands. She continued to belt out every classic hit including “Sunday Morning” and “Hey Baby”. ‘Nineties night’ was in full effect as No Doubt took the main stage, Sunset Cliffs, at 8:25 p.m. and SnoopDogg played the Grandview stage with the same set time.

“The hardest conflict of the day was definitely between Snoop and No Doubt,” said Katie Sanchez, 24. Many attendees agreed on the dilemma and it quickly deemed itself the hardest decision of the weekend. With Gwen rocking a stage with larger sound from just 900 feet away, Snoop was able to keep his crowd rocking steady as he performed his hits throughout the ages and paid homage to his departed friends Biggie Smalls, Tupac and Nate Dogg.

The night ended with EDM and pop acts The White Panda, GRiZ, and “I Don’t Care” singers Icona Pop, all of which performed at the Coors Light Encore stage, where the party didn’t stop until 2:30 a.m.

Day 2 of Kaaboo brought another ensemble of over 30 performances and a more experienced Kaaboo staff in and ready for the flux of people waiting to enter the festival gates at 10:30am. With temperatures rising a few degrees higher than the previous day in sunny Del Mar, Kaaboofestival was definitely heating up.

Coming in with acts such as Ozomatli, Neon Trees, Young the Giant, Zac Brown Band, Spoon, Girl Talk, and Cherub sprinkled into Saturday’s lineup Kaaboo was prepared to host their largest crowds of the entire weekend.

The Del Mar Arena crowds reached between 15-16,000 attendees for headliners Zac Brown Band, Spoon, and Joel McHale in the early evening, peaking around 8 o’clock. The diverse genres in the various acts rotating between the stages brought a very open and accepting ambience toKaaboo. Fest-goers of all ages were in attendance enjoying music, art, and food of all types and sizes throughout the days progression.

Acoustic rock guitar-duo Rodrigo y Gabriela performed on the Sunset Cliffs main stage bringing the enlightening musical fusion of Latin classical guitar, jazz, metal, and rock to the festivals vibe. This created a unique atmosphere for the crowd in the breezy festival grounds.

Shortly after at the Zuma stage to the north side of the arena behind the sheltering shade of the racetrack stadium seating, Neon Trees brought their mix of electronic music and pop-rock to a high energy crowd. Amongst the same shaded section of the festival other acts such as Awolnationand Young the Giant closed out the set list for Zuma stage that evening both performing their greatest hits for the ever enlarging crowds.

Young the Giant blazed through hits such as “My Body”, ” Mind Over Matter”, “Cough Syrup”, “It’s About Time” and “Apartment”. The set was magical over all, one of the best of the event according to fans that amassed for their 7 P.M. dusk performance.

Also performing under the Del Amar sunset was country act Zac Brown Band, enchanting onlookers with melodic acoustic guitar, precise fiddle playing and old timey rock riffs to close out the Sunset Cliffs main stage for that evening. Fans sang and danced as the band performed their radio hits alongside covers such as Queens’ “Bohemian Rhapsody”, Charlie Daniels Bands’ “Devil Went Down To Georgia”, and Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven”.

The final day of Kaaboo festivities was a hot one as almost 16,000 concertgoers flooded the gates of Del Mar Race Track ready to close out the inaugural fest. Early on, fans hid in shady areas including Palate and Posh Nosh to beat the heat.

Fans grabbed their last snacks and beverages from the food trucks and vendors and headed over to fill the grassy and sandy pit, where The Killers opened with karaoke favorite “Mr. Brightside”. The crowd remained on their feet for the entirety of this closing set that featured “Hot Fuss” classics and current hits.

“The Killers definitely were perfect to close the first ever Kaaboo,” said Jake Benson, 22, a Los Angeles native. “Everyone’s heard at least one Killers song,” continued Benson. “And if they haven’t, they will still enjoy the energy at the set. To me, it’s what Brandon brings to the table.”

Flowers and the band finished their set with a bang and left fans cheering for an encore, but as the final act left the stage, the curtains were ready to close on Kaaboo Del Mar 2015. Fans grabbed their souvenir tees and sweaters at the merchandise tent and took their last photos in front of the art pieces displayed across the grounds before scurrying to their cars and calling it a weekend.

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