Rap, rock, reggae and more: KAABOO Del Mar covers it all


The fourth annual installment of KAABOO Del Mar is proving to be the most diverse three-days of art and music in the event’s short history. With artists spanning a wide array of genres and decades playing this year, fans have access to the most varied assortment of performers the “mixperience” has offered to date.

This was readily apparent on Saturday as another diverse roster of performers hit KAABOO’S multiple stages. From Billy Idol, Cake and Stone Temple Pilots to Melissa Etheridge, N.E.R.D., and Imagine Dragons, day two of the music and arts festival offered plenty of options.

This back-to-back-to-back triple play of artists Saturday afternoon underlines the ever-expanding diversity of San Diego’s annual three-day event.

Bebe Rexha — MGM Resorts Grandview Stage

The Brooklyn-born singer, songwriter and producer has collaborated with everyone from Friday surprise guest G-Eazy to Dutch DJ Martin Garrix, and written songs for the likes of Selena Gomez, Nick Jonas, Bella Thorne and Tinashe.

So it was somewhat of a surprise that the platinum-haired singer was able to play such a cohesive set of her own material, as well as the songs she has written for others, on Saturday.

Dressed in black knee-high boots, Rexha had barely gotten through opener Me, Myself and I (from G-Eazy’s 2015 album When It’s Dark Out) before suffering an early wardrobe malfunction.

Despite cutting off the lacing to one of her boots, and then ultimately taking the pair off for the remainder of the set, Rexha kept things in perspective.

“That’s what you get with $39.99 wannabe Fendi boots from downtown L.A.,” she announced to the sizable crowd. “I guess you get what you pay for, babies!” She then launched into the song “that started it all for me,” The Monster Under My Bed. Rexha won a Grammy for the 2013 track after it was released as The Monster by Eminem and Rihanna.

Rexha spent the rest of her performance touting Melissa Etheridge and talking female empowerment, while ripping through songs like Take Me Home, Hey Mama with David Guetta and Nicki Minaj and her hit single, Meant To Be, with Florida Georgia Line. Her debut full-length studio album, Expectations, was released in June.

The Wailers — BMW Encinitas Trestles Stage

For a city that seems to have more reggae bands than taco shops these days, the laidback Jamaican sounds were surprisingly absent from KAABOO Del Mar 2018. That is, until Bob Marley’s longtime backing band performed on Saturday afternoon.

Still led by original Wailer and sole remaining founding member, Aston “Family Man” Barrett, the family man now leads a family band. The 71-year-old bassist is joined by his son, drummer Aston Jr., and their cousin, lead singer Josh Barrett, during performances.

The triad of relatives played an elongated set in the afternoon heat which mixed a few newer tunes with legacy favorites like Concrete Jungle, I Shot The Sheriff, Lively Up Yourself and No Woman, No Cry.

Big Boi — MGM Resorts Grandview Stage

With appearances from Post Malone, Nelly, Gucci Mane, Wiz Khalifa and N.E.R.D., KAABOO Del Mar 2018 was anything but short on hip-hop. However, none brought the experience and pedigree of Atlanta-based rapper Big Boi (real name Antwan Patton), who spent 15 years as half of six-time Grammy-winning duo Outkast.

Decked out in an ATLiens hat, and joined by hypeman Sleepy Brown and DJ Cutmaster Swift, Patton filled his set with a mixture of Outkast hits and those from his 2017 third solo studio album, Boomiverse. And while tracks from the recent album like Kill Jill, Chocolate, In The South and All Night were well received, the crowd responded most enthusiastically when he threw things back.

Fans at the Grandview Stage came to life during the multiple Outkast tunes like SpottieOttieDopaliscious, Rosa Parks, So Fresh, So Clean, B.O.B. and Ms. Jackson.

Patton also starred in the 2018 remake of Superfly, which was produced by fellow rapper Future, so San Diegans just might see him next on the big screen instead of a big stage.


KAABOO Del Mar 2018: Day 2 scene

KAABOO Del Mar 2018: Day 2 performances