It’s hard to believe, but KAABOO is less than a month away! To celebrate the impending arrival of SoCal’s coolest new live music, arts and culture event, here is some fun music trivia about our performers. Twenty four sets of facts about 24 different KAABOO bands. Get your knowledge on, and show up at KAABOO in-the-know about your favorite acts. Can’t wait to see you in Del Mar!

By the way, if you haven’t grabbed your passes yet, there are single, two-day and full weekend passes still available, but don’t wait; tickets are moving fast!

No Doubt

Before their breakthrough album, Tragic Kingdom, was released, No Doubt first appeared on the Warped tour in 1995, along with acts like Sublime and L7. The band’s original keyboardist was Eric Stefani, Gwen’s older brother, though he left the band before the release of Tragic Kingdom to be an animator on The Simpsons. Oh, and if you’re looking for a ray of light, look no further than lead singer Gwen Stefani, whose nickname is Sunshine.

The Killers

The name “The Killers” was derived from a logo on the bass drum of a fictitious band, portrayed in the music video for the New Order song “Crystal.” The Killers have been nominated for seven Grammy Awards, seven BRIT Awards, and 24 NME Awards. Not bad, eh? And now they’re bringing all that award-winning talent to KAABOO!

Zac Brown Band

Zac was previously the owner and executive chef at Zac’s Place, a restaurant in Eatonton, Georgia. A short time after Zac Brown Band hit it big, Zac and his crew found a way to merge culinary and musical talents via “Eat and Greets.” Zac learned how to cook from working at Wagon Wheel and McDonald’s, though he has since taken his tasty treats to another level. Zac’s colorful history also includes time spent as a camp counselor and as an apprentice jeweler.

Snoop Dog

Born Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr., Snoop was nicknamed “Snoopy” by his parents, and the legend has grown from there. Discovered by Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg has been on of hip-hop’s biggest icons for years, earning himself a wax figure at Madame Tussauds Museum in Las Vegas, among many other honors. A co-owner of a shoe line called The One and Only, a football coach and a dedicated dad, Snoop continues to be perform at the forefront of the modern rap scene.

Foster The People

Foster the People was originally called “Foster and the People” after front man Mark Foster. Audiences consistently misheard the name as “Foster the People,” and the misheard name began to grow on Foster and his band mates until they adopted it as their official name. Foster the People’s music has appeared in a wide variety of media, including Payless shoes ads, Grey’s Anatomy, Nissan commercials, SyFy’s series Warehouse 13 and a 2010 FIFA soccer video game.


Every other year, 311 celebrate “311 day” – March 11 – with an extended concert for their devoted fans. 311 got their name from their high school. Classes ended at 3:10pm, and according to some members of the band, everyone in the group was getting high by 3:11.

Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals

en Harper is a three-time Grammy Award winner with awards for Best Pop Instrumental Performance, Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album and Best Blues Album. He learned much of his folk and blues musical foundation by hanging around his grandparents’ music store, The Folk Music Center. Harper played his first gig when he was 12.

Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow’s first job out of college was teaching music at an elementary school in St. Louis. In 1986, she moved to Los Angeles, where she waited tables before landing a gig as a backup singer on Michael Jackson’s Bad tour. She also sang backup on Don Henley’s album The End Of The Innocence, and even lended her vocal talents to McDonald’s jingle before gaining mainstream exposure when she opened for The Eagles on their 1994 reunion tour.

Counting Crows

The Counting Crows began back in 1990 with lead singer Adam Duritz and guitarist David Bryson playing acoustic shows around San Francisco. Adam later joined a band called the Himalayans, but continued to work with David. In 1993, they formed Counting Crows and were signed to Geffen Records. The band’s name is a reference to the expression “counting crows” as a way of expressing the futility of an exercise—for example, “that is about as pointless as counting crows.”

Young The Giant

Originally known as The Jakes, Young the Giant gained some early recognition when their song, “Texas Tea” played during an episode of MTV’s The Real World: Brooklyn. Young the Giant achieved some additional media attention when their tune “Paid the Piper” was featured on A&E’s The Beast.


Spoon chose their band name as a nod to the 1970s German avant-garde band Can, whose hit song “Spoon” was the theme song to the 1985 movie Das Messer (a.k.a. Jagged Edge in the United States). Spoon’s music has played in the second season of Veronica Mars and on episodes of Bones, The Simpsons, Chuck and Scrubs.

Grace Potter

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals’ songs have been all over TV. Her song “Apologies” played on All My Children, Kyle XY, One Tree Hill and Brothers & Sisters, while “Falling or Flying” played on ER and Grey’s Anatomy. In 2010, Grace and the band appeared on Almost Alice, the soundtrack for Tim Burton’s film Alice in Wonderland, with a cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit”.


O.A.R. is an abbreviation of “Of a Revolution.” Four of the band members grew up in Rockville, Maryland and attended high school together. After graduating, they went to Ohio State where they met the fifth member, saxophonist/guitarist Jerry DePizzo. O.A.R. performed the theme song for the ABC show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. During a two-hour special of the show that aired on December 11, 2005, O.A.R. play a concert that included a live performance of “So Much,” the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition theme, in front of the newly redesigned Los Angeles Free Clinic.


The name AWOLNation came from lead singer Aaron Bruno’s high school nickname. In an interview with Kristin Houser of the LA Music Blog, he stated that he “would leave without saying goodbye because it was just easier, so that’s where the name AWOL [absent without leave] came from. The bands song “Burn It Down,” played on the Sons of Anarchy episode “To Be, Act 1,” and is also one of the in-game radio songs in Saints Row 4.

Rodrigo & Gabriela

Currently residing in Mexico City, Rodrigo y Gabriela began their career in Dublin, Ireland, during an eight-year stay when they gigged constantly in various pubs, bringing their unique approach to all kinds of cover songs before venturing into their own music. While in Ireland, they befriended Damien Rice who invited them to open for one of his shows. Their eponymous album, Rodrigo y Gabriela, hit the Irish Albums Chart at #1 beating Arctic Monkeys and Johnny Cash to the top spot. That success translated over to the U.S., where they routinely play to sold-out crowds. In 2011 they collaborated with Hans Zimmer on the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides soundtrack while also contributing to the soundtrack for the Shrek prequel Puss in Boots.

Michael Franti & Spearhead

While studying at the University of San Francisco, Michael Franti met a priest who taught him the fundamentals of storytelling, setting the foundations for Michael’s poetry that would eventually form the backbone of so many songs. Michael then launched his music career in 1986 as part of the industrial punk/spoken word band The Beatnigs, before forming Spearhead in ’94. In 2000, Michael stopped wearing shoes and has gone barefoot, except for the occasional pair of flip-flops, ever since.

Girl Talk

Gregg Michael Gillis started the solo “Girl Talk” project while studying biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Gregg worked as an engineer, but he quit in 2007 to focus solely on music. He took the name “Girl Talk” from the late ’80s and early ’90s board game of the same name. Gregg has given his own different explanations for the origin of his stage name, once saying that it alluded to a Jim Morrison poem and once saying that it alluded to an early Merzbow side project. Most recently, he attributed the name to Tad, the early 1990s SubPop band, based in Seattle. He’s also described the name as sounding like a Disney music teen girl group.

Brandi Carlile

At age eight, Brandi Carlile performed Johnny Cash’s “Tennessee Flat Top Box” with her mother, Teresa Carlile, and began playing the guitar and writing songs at age fifteen. At sixteen, Brandi became a backup singer for an Elvis impersonator before eventually being discovered for her own music. Brandi’s 2007 single, “The Story,” was featured on an episode of the Grey’s Anatomy, as well as a General Motors commercial, and she has built a successful recording and performing career for nearly a decade since then.


In 2003, X’s first two studio albums, Los Angeles and Wild Gift, were ranked by Rolling Stone magazine among the 500 greatest albums of all time. The band received an Official Certificate of Recognition from the City of Los Angeles in acknowledgment of its contribution to Los Angeles music and culture. Back in 1984, X released a cover version of “Wild Thing” as a non-LP single. In 1989, the song was re-released as the lead single from the soundtrack for the movie Major League. It later became a staple at sporting events, particularly baseball games.


Known for their energetic live shows, Lettuce began as a funk band in the summer of 1992, when all of its members (then teenagers) attended a music program at Berklee College of Music in Boston. In the fall of 1994, the band reformed and slowly accumulated experience playing live gigs by walking into various Boston jazz clubs and asking the club owners if they would “let us play,” sparking the name “Lettuce.”

JJ Grey & Mofro

JJ Grey coined the name “Mofro” to explain the band’s sound. It was originally a nickname give to Grey by a co-worker, and he adopted it as the band name because it “sounded southern.” Grey later changed the band name to “JJ Grey & Mofro” when his grandmother asked him if he was ashamed to use his own name. JJ Grey writes the songs to reflect the region around Jacksonville, Florida, where he grew up.

The Old 97's

Co-founder and bassist Mury Hammond’s named the band The Old 97’s after the country ballad “Wreck of the Old 97.” The band’s music has been featured in a number of hit movies and TV series, including The Break-Up (“Salome”, “Melt Show”, “Timebomb”), Ed (“Question”, “King of All the World”), Scrubs (“Question”), Veronica Mars (“Adelaide”, “Four-Leaf Clover”, “The New Kid”) and Scorpion (“Question”). The band also appears in a live concert scene in the movie The Break-Up.

Minnie Driver

Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the film Good Will Hunting, and an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe for her work in the television series The Riches, Minnie Driver surprises many with her talent as a singer. Driver made her stage debut in 1991, supplementing her income by performing as a jazz vocalist and guitarist. In 2001 she signed with EMI and Rounder Records and performed at the SXSW music festival. Driver released a third album, Ask Me to Dance, in October 2014, with songs by Elliott Smith, Neil Young and the The Killers.

Dirty Dozen Brass Band

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band initially grew out of the youth music program established by Danny Barker at New Orleans’ Fairview Baptist Church. Building from the foundations of traditional New Orleans jazz and “second line” Mardi Gras parade performances, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band revolutionized the New Orleans brass band style by incorporating funk and bebop into the traditional style.