KAABOO Del Mar 2018 daily critic’s picks


Nearly 100 music and comedy acts are set to perform between Friday and Sunday at the fourth annual KAABOO Del Mar festival. To help you select, here are some of the most interesting acts performing this weekend.


The Zombies: Keyboardist Rod Argent and singer Colin Blunstone co-founded this storied British Invasion band in 1961, then split up in 1967. They reunited briefly in 1990 and 1997, and have been active with a new lineup since 2004. The Zombies’ classic songs, from “She’s Not There” to “Time of the Season,” still sound fresh and vital. 4:05-5:05 p.m, BMW Encinitas Stage

Halsey: Virtually unknown in 2015, Ashley Nicolette Frangipane quickly rose to prominence as Halsey, thanks to a poem she wrote that was re-blogged nearly 1 million times on Tumblr and her singing on The Chainsmokers’ infernally popular hit, “Closer.” Her chart-topping 2017 album, “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom,” is uneven. But such potent songs as “100 Letters” suggest this 23-year-old star— who identifies as biracial, bisexual and bipolar — could make a lasting impact. 6:25-7:55 p.m., Sunset Cliffs Stage

Blondie: Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Blondie have far outlasted the fleeting New Wave rock movement that helped propel the band to prominence. The group scored 10 Top 40 hits between between 1979 and 1999, including the chart-topping “Heart of Glass” and “Rapture.” With magnetic lead singer Deborah Harry still at the fore, Blondie will show the kids how it’s done. 7:15-8:45 p.m., BMW Encinitas Stage


Big Boi: Big Boi and André 3000’s 2014 reunion tour as OutKast was a cash-grab, but Big Boi is doing fine on his own. The Atlanta rapper — real name: Antwan André Patton — is now enjoying his biggest solo hit with “All Night.” His live shows intersperse his songs with such OutKast favorites as “Ms. Jackson” and “B.O.B.” 4:25-5:25 p.m., MGM Resorts Grandview Stage

N.E.R.D.: As The Neptunes, Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo have produced some of the biggest names in pop music. As N.E.R.D., with Shae Haley, they have made four albums since 2001. The newest, last year’s “No One Ever Really Dies,” features Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran, André 3000 and more. The chance that even one of them might make a KAABOO cameo should ensure a big crowd. 6:55-7:55 p.m., Sunset Cliffs Stage

Earth, Wind & Fire: EWF mastermind Maurice White died in 2016, 16 years after his pioneering cosmic funk-and-beyond band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Bassist Verdine White and singer Philip Bailey are still at the fore of the group, whose music has inspired everyone from OutKast to Daft Punk and Taylor Swift, who recently got slammed for her version of EWF’s classic 1978 love jam, “September.” 7:55-9:25 p.m., MGM Resorts Grandview Stage


Elise Trouw: A one-woman band, 19-year-old San Diegan Elise Trouw sings, drums and plays guitar, bass and keyboards. Using electronic looping, she ably fulfills all these roles on stage, building her songs, layer by layer. If she’s already this accomplished as a teenager, the sky’s the limit for her future. 12:25-1 p.m., Sunset Cliffs Stage

Judd Apatow & Friends: It is unclear if any of Judd Apatow’s “friends” who join him on stage at KAABOO were in such Apatow-directed movie comedy hits as “Knocked Up,” “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” or “Trainwreck.” But it’s safe to predict that Apatow, who produced “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” will include some San Diego-themed zingers — and at least one reference to a female whale’s anatomy. 5:30-6:30 p.m., Humor Me Stage

Robert Plant & The Sensational Shape Shifters — Appearances by former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant and his proudly genre-blurring band are few and far between in San Diego. His KAABOO performance is made even more enticing by his blend of impassioned new songs and ingenious reinventions of various Zeppelin classics that find him simultaneously looking forward and back. 7-8:30 p.m., MGM Resorts Grandview Stage


When: 1:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Friday; noon to 12:30 a.m. Saturday; 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday

Where: Del Mar Racetrack and Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar

Tickets: $149 Friday single-day pass. All other single- and multi-day passes are sold out, except Katy Perry Cares Passes, which are valid Sunday evening at 6 p.m. only, which cost $89 each (a portion of the proceeds from the Perry passes will benefit the nonprofit MusiCares).

Phone: (855) 798-5995


Twitter @georgevarga