Pink, Garbage Rule on Day 2 of KAABOO Music Festival

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P!nk performs at the 2017 Kaaboo Music Festival on Sept. 16, 2017 in San Diego. 

When the Red Hot Chili Peppers left the Sunset Cliffs stage at the end of day one of the KAABOO festival in Del Mar, Calif. on Friday (Oct. 15), the audience left behind a literal sea of garbage as far as the eye could see. After the 45,000 visitors departed the fairgrounds, a clean-up crew went to work and by 7:30 am Saturday there wasn’t a scrap of paper or plastic in sight. But just after 5pm, the stage was filled with Garbage again -- only this time it was the alt-rock band led by flame-haired Scottish singer Shirley Manson.

The 51-year-old vocalist was aware that many people in the multi-generational audience were born too late to be familiar with the band. She quickly won the crowd over with an inspirational speech: “I want to give a shout-out to the KAABOO festival for actually taking a chance on a weird band like us because we all know if you’re not playing the game these days, it’s tough to get in the race, right? So I want anyone out there who looks at their life and thinks things are real difficult, I want you to look at us bunch of losers and realize absolutely anything is possible.” She also thanked “people who come to music festivals who are willing to keep an open mind and look for the bands who don’t get banged on Apple Music or Spotify. Thanks to music lovers for giving an old bitch like me a chance.”

Garbage was one of four acts to command the festival’s largest stage on Saturday. The day’s headliner, Pink, closed with a powerful set of her greatest hits, including “Try,” “F---in’ Perfect,” “Just Give Me a Reason” and her opener, “Get This Party Started,” complete with fireworks. The big question was, would she keep both feet planted on the ground or soar above the audience. Through her entire set, she remained on the stage, though never stationary – until her encore. As she sang her No. 1 hit “So What,” the woman who was a gymnast for eight years suddenly lifted off the ground and daringly flew over the audience, tumbling over and over. It was a dizzying end to a brilliant set.

Also taking the Sunset Cliffs stage during the day were Darenots, Machine Gun Kelly, Ice Cube and a three-man alt-rock outfit, LANY. Although not as well known as some of Saturday’s performers, the band named for Los Angeles and New York impressed and left one with the belief that they would one day be headlining at festivals, perhaps even KAABOO.

There was action on other stages as well. Jane’s Addiction were in top form on Grandview and Eric Burdon, white-haired at age 76, appealed to all ages on the Trestles stage, as fans from teenagers to senior citizens were singing along to his hits, including Carole King and Gerry Goffin’s “Don’t Bring Me Down” and Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil’s “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” as well as “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” and a cover of Sam Cooke’s “Bring It on Home to Me.” It was notable that one woman in the crowd expressed surprise that Burdon was singing “House of the Rising Sun,” obviously unaware that his group the Animals had a No. 1 hit with the song in 1964.

KAABOO continues on Sunday with Alanis Morissette, Jackson Browne, Jason Derulo, Andy Grammer, T-Pain, headliner Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and many more.