KAABOO will feature an amazing array of musical talent that includes some of the greatest performers of the last 50 years, including the likes of Robert Plant, The Foo Fighters, Katy Perry, The Zombies, Blondie, Earth Wind & Fire and Imagine Dragons.
Notably, the event also gives up and coming artists, both local and international, a chance to play to a wider audience.
Such is the case with Robert DeLong. Appearing at KAABOO on Sept. 15, DeLong is performing in support of his latest single, “Revolutionary,” with a new EP due next month. His music is hard to pin down stylistically. It’s definitely dance music, with electronica and hip hop at it’s base, but that’s just the start of DeLong’s wall of sound. “It’s an eclectic mix of things,” he said good-naturedly. “Let’s call it dance infused future alternate hyper pop.”
Based in Silver Lake, DeLong has been a regular in San Diego since the release of his 2013 album, “Just Movement,” including performances at the CRSSD Festival and The Music Box. “I’m looking forward to KAABOO,” he said. “It’s been a long minute since I’ve been down there and I always think of it as a beautiful city.”
The visit to San Diego will only be hours long. “Unfortunately, I have to be in Atlanta the next day, so I won’t be able to see the other bands on the bill. It’s one of the things I don’t like about touring, but I’m happy to be in this business, so it’s okay.”
He’s put together a special show for the event. “My KAABOO set will include some new music, some other musicians joining me on stage and a whole new video show,” he said. “My dad was a drummer, so my intro to music was Yes and Pink Floyd, that sort of proggy stuff. [Today] I find myself inspired by all sorts of music and sounds, everything from experimental and ambient music to rock music to modern dance music to hip hop. I’m not sure how much of these genres and artists directly influence my music, but somehow their ideas do filter through, whether it’s a lyric or a sound or a groove.”
There will also be a number of artists taking part at KAABOO with local connections, including Jewel and Stone Temple Pilots. One surprise guest will be guitarist Johnny Vernazza, who will join former bandmate, bluesman Elvin Bishop, during his set. Vernazza, now an area resident, was a key member of Bishop’s band, during the 1970s, including playing on the hit, “Fooled Around and Fell in Love.”
“It’ll be great to see him again,” Vernazza said. “This doesn’t happen too often as we are always on the road, but it’s something I look forward to. We had so many adventures back in the day, it’s always good to catch up and jam a little on stage.”
Meanwhile, local indie rockers Creature Canyon are amongst the developing talent on the bill. The trio is performing at KAABOO in advance of a new EP, “Did You Want That,” due out Oct. 19. “This is an amazing opportunity to show that we belong on the same lineup as all these great artists,” said Creature Canyon frontman Austin Steele.
A veteran of the area’s club stages, he notes playing outside can have its challenges. “We definitely have tailored our set for this show. [For example] it's harder to play outdoors because you have less control over the sound.”
For his part, Steele is looking forward to taking in the whole KAABOO experience. “(The band is) looking forward to being a part of the festival environment and just being around so many great artists at once,” he mused. “We feel very grateful to be a part of this.”
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