The musical festival known as Kaaboo has reached the shores of Del Mar beach for the third year in a row. Where the surf meets the turf meets the musicians meets thousands of concert goers looking for a better quality music festival experience. Changes continue to occur each year and although this was the first time I made no plans to attend, I gladly accepted the two free Hang Five tickets that fell into our laps, and with them the Thursday night private VIP concert with headliners The Barenaked Ladies.
I have been a BNL fan since about 1995, but with much of the music I liked 20+ years ago, I missed seeing them live (see The Indigo Girls). This is one of the bigger bummers in life since original member and lead singer, Steven Page, left the band in 2009 amidst a rocky year that include a cocaine possession arrest while the band was about to embark on tour for their children's album "Snacktime." Much of what made me love the band came from the Steven Page/Ed Robertson combination, so I knew the old music would never sound the same and the live catalog would be drastically affected.
I have not been the biggest champion of the post Page period, but I was excited for the chance to see them live even though there was an obstacle in my way. With my husband in San Francisco, I would not only leave my 13 year old daughter in charge of her 10 year old brother, but I would be attending the concert all by myself. And before you ask, “Why didn’t you give the other ticket to a friend?” you clearly don’t understand the previous statement about the 13 and 10 year old. Someone might decide to handcuff the dog’s legs together or fry a grilled cheese with french bread. I needed the freedom to take off at a moment's notice.
Fortunately, I returned to a standing house and dog, so I can happily share my solo experience.
1. It is ALWAYS a good decision to run out to Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back In Town.”
2. Playing for a VIP audience when only a small percentage know the music can be tricky. BNL called out that fact early on and keep playing.
3. BNL could write a book on stage banter…but a 1.5 hour show should have more music. I missed a lot of songs.
4. A “cover” medley is a tricky choice, but one BNL have done and updated for years.
5. Steven Page heavy “Old Apartment” and “Brian Wilson” were a big surprise and sounded solid…I wish the same could have been said about the Tyler (the drummer) lead version of one of my favorites, “Alcohol.” There was a definitive irreverence to it and maybe that was the point.
6. We should all have the bass player dancing goals.
7. Being a 5’4’ female sucks when surrounded by 6’5” men…being alone or with someone makes no difference.
8. VIPs automatically assumed the “turf” side of the audience was better than the lowly “sand” side…what they didn’t account for was the amount of people that all agreed…leaving the “sand” side fairly empty. I stood about 10 people back.
9. “Anyone who doesn't’ sing the chorus doesn’t support the troops” …pretty much sums up the show.