Photos and story courtesy of The Jerry Jonestown Massacre.
Photos by Dustin Schneider, Words by Susie Ramone.
It’s not every day that you get a phone call from one of your best friends telling you that they got an email with approval for media passes for one of the biggest music festivals to ever hit North Texas. So, when I got that phone call I may or may not have whooped and done a little happy dance. And then I *might* have squealed when I saw the line-up and that the greatness that is Kaaboo Texas was starting strong on day one!
Getting there a little early on Friday afternoon allowed us to explore the venue to see what was up and having really never been to AT&T stadium before, it was pretty cool to go with a seasoned veteran. The Kaaboo team did an outstanding job of placing the stages so that people can get from stage to stage quickly and easily. They have hydration stations set up, free water for those that bring in an empty water bottle, along with all sorts of tasty food, adult beverages, and shopping….oh my goodness the shopping! I had to actually say “no” to myself so many times or I would have spent the family fortune!
But, that’s not the important part…the important part is the music, so let’s get to it!
As you enter the festival, immediately in front of you is the Bask Day Pool and Night Club, where all the DJ’s are set up and also where all the club kids headed straight for. Pulsing beats set the mood that this was going to be FUN!
We headed directly to the Maverick Stage to hear a band out of Brooklyn called Acid Dad. I’d not heard of them before so went on a little musical journey with them. They are a three piece with a simple drum kit, bass, and guitar…but holy moses! The sounds they can make with those simple instruments! Totally killer psych rock! All shoe gaze, but super catchy. They would go well with the Black Angels and 13th Floor Elevators. I found some songs to drift more into the poppy realm, but still trippy. It was like a perfect balance of 60’s shoegaze blended with today. By the time their set was over, the crowd had really picked up and everyone was digging what they were hearing.
Next, we headed to the Main Stage inside the stadium itself. On our way we stopped to check out the art, after all this is an Art, Music, Comedy festival. It was gorgeous and inspiring and made me want to go home and create! As we entered the stadium, there is an art installation that, I kid you not, goes from floor to ceiling….which, from what I understand, is as tall as the Statue of Liberty. It’s a gorgeous piece made of fabric and cables and looks a bit like some sort of spacey sea creature. I loved it! But, as we all know, large scale pieces of art are *kind* of my thing.
So, back to the Main Stage where Blue October was kicking things off. I haven’t heard much, if any, of there music and it took me a minute to figure out what I was listening to. What are they? Pop? Jesus Rock? Seems that they are a blend of the two and I could hear that they were heavily influenced by U2. The crowd inside was much larger and everyone knew the first song, which was called Sway, and were singing along. I really liked the lead singer’s bow tie and all in all it was a fun set to watch.
Kind of midway through the Blue October set I made Dustin head outside because kicking off the fun on the Pegasus Stage was Ludacris! That’s right, that’s what I said.. Luda!!! He was so much fun! He did all the hits and the crowd was eating it UP! Everything from Pimpin’ All Over the World to throwing it way back to What’s Your Fantasy to Welcome to Atlanta to Area Codes, it was all hits all day! Luda’s banter with the crowd was super fun to watch, he is seriously the king of the humble brag and it made me giggle. He questioned whom was a Luda fan and whom was a Fast and Furious fan. I’ll admit, I’m a little bit of both.
Following the Luda set, we went back inside to see Bush on the Main Stage. That Gavin Rossdale, he’s kinda dreamy. Well, his smile is dreamy and when he turns it on you, your knees might just go a little weak. Again, the band came out swinging with hit after hit, while throwing in some new tunes. They started the set with Machine Head, which had the very large crowd singing along, and went all the way through to end things with Glycerine. It was one big dance party, love fest, with Gavin going out in the crowd at one point, much to everyone’s delight. Bush…who knew I would like them so much?!
After Bush we sort of bopped around from place to place, I may have asked for food, and we may have rested for a bit in the Media Room. But it was much needed because up next was my girl Alanis Morissette on the Main Stage. I might have lost my mind when walking out to her singing You Learn and seeing that she was super cute and pregnant! Girl did not let that slow her down one bit! She was seriously all over the place singing, playing her guitar, and that harmonica! woohoo!!! I was one happy Susie singing along with All I Really Want, Hands Clean, and Thank You, and I *may* have gotten choked up when Alanis started in on Guardian. It was everything I could have asked for and more!
And, closing out the night was Mr. Brightside themselves… The Killers! As with everyone else on this first day of Kaaboo, they BROUGHT IT! Everyone one of them are such great showmen and they just kept going with hit after hit, including Spaceman, Somebody Told Me, Smile Like You Mean It, and an encore of When You Were Young. It was just fantastic! The whole set! I think I had stars in my eyes the whole time! …that also might have been the light show, which was all killer, no filler.
All in all, Kaaboo Day 1 was a massive success and a seriously fun time I’m so stoked that I was there for it.
On to Day 2!!