Now that the officially sold-out Kaaboo Del Mar 2018 is underway (who was at last night's VIP preview show with Kool & the Gang?), the time has come to start plotting your busy weekend. I hope you scoped yesterday's official SoundDiego guide to Friday's festivities and that it does you some good but now we set our sights on Saturday's extensive offerings. Packed with more performers, you'll have your work cut out depending on who you want to see.
For the uninitiated, there's basically three types of people at festivals: Those that try to pack as much as they possibly can into every waking minute by continually snaking their way from stage to stage (but also missing, like, half the set of whoever's playing in the process), the sensible folks that settle on a few choice acts throughout the day at non-competing times -- and those that go with the primary goal of getting completely obliterated. For those about to black out, we salute you. I'm all about the music though, so I fall squarely into the second camp.
First off, here at SoundDiego, we pride ourselves on supporting the San Diego music community and there's no better time to show up for the locals at Kaaboo than by catching indie-rock buzz band Creature Canyon at the Tourmaline Stage from 12:15-12:45 p.m. They've been tapped as 91x's Local Break of the month and with good reason -- they've got great tunes. Plus, starting small is a good way to ease into the festival madness.
After their set, the Grandview Stage wins most of the day. I'm a '90s kid so Soul Asylum gets my vote at 1:25 p.m. (music fans may remember "Runaway Train" of course, but do yourself a favor and dive into the band's excellent 1995 album "Let Your Dim Light Shine").
For the particularly young-at-heart out there though, I wouldn't blame you for skipping 'em for the riotous surf-punks in SWMRS (featuring Joey Armstrong, the son of Green Day's Billie Joe) over on the Sunset Cliffs mainstage at 2:10 p.m. Pick your poison, both will be a swell time.
Even though I've been a lifelong fan of Better Than Ezra (fight me bruh), I'm skipping their 2:20 p.m. set at the Trestles Stage. I'm getting my nostalgia kicks in with Soul Asylum already and BTE will be through town at a casino soon enough, I'm sure. Instead, I'm sticking to the Grandview Stage for ultra huge pop-star singer Bebe Rexha. You've heard her on the radio and seen her videos (including that controversial "Girls" collab with Cardi B, Rita Ora and Charli XCX) and there's no better way to spend 3:05-3:45 p.m. at Kaaboo than by watching her set.
After that, it's time for a late lunch break. You'll have 40 minutes in-between Rexha and Big Boi's performances and that's a primo opportunity to nosh. Since I indulged in a slice and/or dog on Friday, I'm traversing the grounds for slightly more sophisticated grub this time around and got my eyes set on Sweetfin Poke. In my humble opinion, few things beat a great poke bowl so I'm more than down to try 'em out. When sustenance has been consumed, head back to Grandview and work off those calories by dropping it like it's hot to Outkast's Big Boi. Just hope Kaaboo brought extra woofers for "The Way You Move" and "All Night," they'll need 'em.
Stone Temple Pilots play from 5:10-6:25 p.m. on the mainstage but I'm gonna be 100 percent honest: Without Scott Weiland, the band's now basically glorified karaoke to my ears. You'll have at least an hour between the end of Big Boi's set and the start of N.E.R.D. at the Sunset Cliffs Stage so hear me out -- maybe, just maybe, it's time to splurge and get a massage at one of the festival's spa/relaxation zones (hey, this guy likes to be pampered, thank you very much). No? Then enjoy your tight muscles and leg cramps. I tried.
From 6:55-7:55 p.m., get lost in the eclectic hip-hop beats of N.E.R.D., led by the angel-voiced Pharrell Williams, on the mainstage and rejoice that the hit-makers decided to end their lengthy hiatus and hit the road again. Fun fact: Their latest album, 2017's "No One Ever Really Dies," features collabs with Kendrick Lamar, Andre 3000, M.I.A., Future, Wale, Gucci Mane, Rihanna and Ed Sheeran -- so if there's gonna be any special guests at Kaaboo, they'll be onstage during this set. Don't miss this one.
Imagine Dragons are the main Saturday headliners and they go on 30 minutes after N.E.R.D. ends, so you've got three options: Hang out and wait for the sing-along pop-rock titans to hit the stage (meh), head back to the Grandview Stage for soul/R&B/funk icons Earth, Wind & Fire from 7:55-9:25 p.m. -- or call an audible and get an early start to the parking lot of doom so you can go see a killer all-local lineup at the Casbah with Dani Bell & the Tarantist, the Midnight Pine, and Sights and Sages. Decisions, decisions.
Either way, save some energy because Kaaboo's got a lot going on during it's final day -- so stay tuned for Sunday's festival itinerary tomorrow
Dustin Lothspeich is a San Diego Music Award-winning musician, an associate editor at NBC SoundDiego since 2013, talent buyer at The Merrow, and founder of the music equipment-worshipping blog Gear and Loathing in San Diego. Follow his updates on Twitter or contact him directly.