The second day of KAABOO Del Mar Festival 2019 began bright and early and quickly heated up in more ways than one. An unusually humid San Diego day enveloped the Del Mar fairgrounds as thousands of music fan beat to stream into the venue. A rock-laden line up greeted them with blazing guitars and thumping rhythms. Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes played a searing early afternoon set in much the same vein as Little Steven did the day before. Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes are a Jersey Shore band led by Southside Johnny. The group has been playing and recording rock-infused music since 1976, inspiring a sub-genre of Jersey rock bands, including Bruce Springsteen and The E Street band. Early bird concert-goers braved the sweltering sun to witness some genuine Americana rock.
Local hometown heroes Switchfoot took over the main Sunset Cliffs stage soon after, with an already massive crowd highly packed about them. The band wowed the elated audience fresh off a show in Mexico City. Lead singer Jon Foreman leaped deep into the crowd several times while his young bandmates played maniacally offering up a Southern California rock sound.
The Los Angeles based band Blind Melon followed Southside Johnny on the Trestles stage. The band reformed in 2006 with new lead singer Travis Warren and are working on a 4th studio album. Original lead singer Shannon Hoon infamously passed away from a drug overdose in 1995. The band played in a raw post-punk like vein even encouraging a bit of head banging during their short set.
Many in the crowd packed around the main Sunset Cliffs stage seemed like they were there to stay, following the Switchfoot set and were more than ready when classic rocker Bryan Adams took over. The 59-year-old Canadian rocker has been making hit music since the release of his 1983 album “Cuts Like a Knife.” He opened his set leading his band of veteran rockers with two of his rock hits, “Somebody” and “Kids Want to Rock.” The hit-laden 75-minute set left the vast crowd screaming for more.
The Long Beach band Sublime with Rome brought a hit-laden ska-punk set to emphatic fans who sang and danced along to the well-known tunes. Although original lead singer Bradley Nowell passed away back in 1996, his music lives on in the reformed band. Rome Ramirez does an admirable job in channeling Nowell’s spirit and in some ways the latest incarnation of the band is more musical than the original group.
British rockers Squeeze brought their quirky New Wave sound to the Trestles stage during an elegant sunset performance. The band played their music that was at the forefront of the synth-rock movement back in the late '70s. Lead singer Glen Tillbrook, looking a bit like a Leprechaun in green satin shorts and vest captured the rapt attention of the crowd with a rendition of the band's hits. These included catchy tunes like “Footprints,” “Annie Get Your Gun," and “Tempted.”
Much like the sunset drenched set by Marren Morris the day before on the Sunset Cliffs stage, OneRepublic benighted from the beautiful natural backdrop. The hit-making Colorado band from the new millennium consists of lead vocalist & multi-instrumentalist Ryan Tedder, guitarist Zach Filkins, guitarist Drew Brown, bassist, and cellist Brent Kutzle, drummer Eddie Fisher and keyboardist Brian Willett. They pleased the massive crowd with a high energy set complete with an explosive multi-media backdrop that came to life as the sun went down.
Dave Matthews and his veteran jam band closed out the main stage in a cacophony of jam rock music. In addition to Matthews, the group includes founding members, bassist Stefan Lessard, and drummer and backing vocalist Carter Beauford. They were joined by newer members of the band including Rashawn Ross on trumpet, Jeff Coffin on Saxophone, Tim Reynolds on lead guitar and the newest member of the band Buddy Strong on keyboards. Matthews leads the incredible group like a mad maestro through countless jam laden tunes. The band is famous for playing different sets each night much like Dead and Co. or Phish. Matthews and company have been on an extensive tour this summer, but the band gave their all wowing the biggest crowd of the KAABOO festival 2019 with their jam drenched set. They even included a few covers including a song by Peter Gabriel and one by Steve Miller. As older beaming music fans sauntered out of the venue, many younger fans rushed over to the Grandview stage for the second night of a massive silent disco.