Katy Perry launches into orbit during KAABOO Del Mar 2018

Performers on Day 3 of KAABOO Del Mar included Wiz Khalifa and Katy Perry on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018.
(Isiah Jones )

3, 2, 1, blast off!

Katy Perry landed center stage on Sunday at KAABOO Del Mar’s third and final night, emerging for her performance from a cherry-red rocket ship.

Arriving via spacecraft seemed only appropriate for the chart-topping performer who just last month wrapped up a 113-show “WITNESS: The Tour” that took her around the globe over the past 11 months.

Add to the rocket ship a stage decked out in rainbows, nearly floor-to-rafters decorative ’80s-styled busts, levitating stages, matching costumed band members, eight to 10 backup dancers, five costume changes (each with a matching blinged-out mic) and one exuberant “left shark” and Perry brought to San Diego the most heavily produced (by a long shot) performance in KAABOO’s four-year history.


Fans watch Katy Perry perform at KAABOO Del Mar on Sunday, September 16, 2018. (Photo by K.C. Alfred/San Diego Union-Tribune)
(K.C. Alfred / San Diego Union-Tribune)

And if that, plus the dozens of other shows and experiences spread throughout the weekend didn’t make the festival worth the price of admission (especially for those fans who purchased special Katy Perry Cares passes for only $89 to see just her show that night), then KAABOO organizers should wonder what would.

After starting on time at 7:25 p.m. with quick run-throughs of Witness and Roulette (both from her most recent Witness album, which was released last summer), Perry thanked the audience for waiting for her.

“When I go to festivals,” she said after her initial two songs, “I like to hear all the hits! So, let’s get right into it.”


And right into it she did.

Katy Perry performs at KAABOO Del Mar on Sunday, September 16, 2018. (Photo by K.C. Alfred/San Diego Union-Tribune)
(K.C. Alfred / San Diego Union-Tribune)

Perry went on to play a total of 20 songs (see full set list at the end) with her next song after the exclamation being Dark Horse, which was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Hits for four weeks in 2014, but also received the Recording Industry Association of America’s Diamond certification for surpassing the 10-million threshold (counting song sales and streams in the U.S.). Yep, that’s a hit.

Among hit after hit of her own, which also included Teenage Dream, California Gurls (from the appropriately California native) and E.T. (because, remember the space ship?), Perry performed a cover of Joan Osborne’s 1995 hit One of Us. The set took a pause from the action-packed production during the song and featured female guitarist Devon Eisenbarger (a member of the trio Honey County) in her second major guitar solo of the night.

Eisenbarger is also, assumedly, the reason for an odd shout-out to Temecula made by Perry at the end of the show, as the guitarist grew up in the nearby Southern Riverside County town.

The production value picked right back up for the remaining seven songs of the night and was capped off with actual fireworks launching on the lyrics “boom, boom, boom” and a steady stream of other pyrotechnics throughout her 2010-released song Firework, which spent four weeks in December of that year in the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Hits.

And, around 9:05 p.m. as Perry made her way back into the cherry-red rocket wearing her final costume of the evening — a neon green bodysuit matching her neon green hair and nails, topped with a $5,500 Burberry Rainbow Faux-Fur Long Cape — she exclaimed, “Good night KAABOO. See you in a couple of years.” Now, whether that meant a return trip to the mixperience festival or hinted at a long break after her nearly her yearlong world tour, only time will tell.


Katy Perry 2018 KAABOO Del Mar setlist

1. Witness
2. Roulette
3. Dark Horse
4. Chained to the Rhythm
BREAK and costume change
5. Teenage Dream
6. Hot n Cold
7. Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)
8. California Gurls
9. I Kissed a Girl
BREAK and costume change
10. E.T.
11. Peacock
12. Bon Appétit
13. One of Us (Joan Osborne song)
14. Thinking of You
15. The One That Got Away
BREAK and costume change
16. Part of Me
17. Swish Swish
18. Roar
BREAK and costume change
19. Pendulum
20. Firework


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