On Saturday April 8th, Southern California’s very own KLOS presented Sabroso: A Craft Beer, Taco, & Music Festival on the golden sands of Doheny State Beach. A sold-out crowd of over 8,500+ made their way down to South Orange County for an afternoon of great food, cold beer, and killer music headlined by Orange County’s very own, THE OFFSPRING. And if that wasn’t enough already, festival-goers were treated to ringside seats for some amazing Lucha Libre style wrestling AND got to witness firsthand the legendary Takeru Kobayashi plow through 159 tacos in 10 minutes to crush his own world record at the 7th annual Gringo Bandito Chronic Taco Challenge. From sunup to sundown, there was no break in the action for the thousands of attendees who made Dana Point their home on this beautiful Saturday afternoon.
Aside from complimentary beer tasting with 40 amazing breweries, festival-goers indulged in some of the most killer street tacos on the planet. Vendors from all over the southland lined the Sabroso Festival grounds with their flamboyant food trucks, vying for a chance to wow attendees with their custom creations and ultimately take home the “Best in Show” award (based on celebrity judging and fan voting throughout the event). When the dust (and chips) had finally settled, Mess Hall Canteen stood victorious with their Bandito Taco (w/ Cheddar Tortilla I might add). Simply delicioso! Coming in 2nd (in a field of over 20 solid competitors) was Falasophy (and their Spicy Modern Falafel Taco) with 3rd place awarded to The Kroft (where comfort food is reinvented!)
Now, on to the music. One of the wonderful things about Sabroso is that co-producers Cameron Collins and John Reese spare no expense in ensuring that musical lineup for the annual festival is second to none. This year was no exception with an unbelievable lineup consisting of FUSED BY DEFIANCE (The Slidebar Battle of the Bands Winner), METALACHI (The World’s First and Only Heavy Metal Mariachi Band), UNWRITTEN LAW, LIT, RIVAL SONS, SUM 41, and headlining the show, THE OFFSPRING. Frosty, Heidi, and Frank (hosts of the morning Show on 95.5 KLOS), emceed the event, and were absolutely hysterical from start to finish. Not sure that there would have been a better choice to host than these three legendary DJ’s from one of rock’s most recognizable call signs – KLOS!
Here’s Hunnypot’s 30-second take on each band that played Sabroso’s main stage this year:
FUSED BY DEFIANCE - Well deserved win at Battle of the Bands and the Main Stage opener. Ryan Cheek captivated the crowd with his crisp vocals and relevant lyrics reminiscent of early RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE. Check these guys out at Hunnypot Live at The Mint on June 12th if you want to see firsthand how amazing these guys are.
METALACHI – Vega De La Rockha and Company are not just a variety act, but skilled musicians that have mastered the cross-over between traditional mariachi and old-school heavy metal. Their rendition of classics such as DIO’s “Rainbow in the Dark” and IRON MAIDEN’s “Run to the Hills” were spot on and just what the doctored ordered. Arriba!
UNWRITTEN LAW – This killer band from Poway, CA is still hitting on all cylinders after 25+ years in the punk rock business. Vocals were tight, musicianship was solid, and overall band was dialed in from start to finish. Scott Russo had their legions of fans “Seein’ Red” all afternoon!
LIT – An unbelievable set from A. Jay & Jeremy Popoff, Kevin Baldes, and Terry Stirling, Jr. These guys had an incredible chemistry that infected the sell-out crowd from the moment they hit the stage. They were so much fun to watch, and you could easily tell they loved playing music together. I just wished they would have had more time on the Sabroso Main stage.
RIVALS SONS – Probably my favorite up and coming band on the scene regardless of genre. Jay Buchanan is a phenomenal vocalist and has a stage presence that is second to none. Watching him perform at Sabroso conjured up memories of Jim Morrison and Robert Plant in their prime. The crowd was completely blown away after the first song and was riveted to the stage for their entire 10-song set.
SUM 41 – These rockers from Ontario, Canada turned it up to 11 with one of the most memorable performances of the 2017 Sabroso Festival. If you thought punk rock was dead, there 17-song set was living proof that it is alive and well in Orange County. Deryck Whibley’s energy was off the chart and along with fellow bandmates Dave Baksh, Jason McCaslin, Tom Thacker, and Frank Zummo, whipped the capacity crowd into a frenzy that lasted from the first note of “The Hell Song” to the final chord of “Fat Lip”.
THE OFFSPRING – Growing up in Southern California, there was no band more influential to the American Punk Rock scene than THE OFFSPRING. Dexter Holland (vocals, guitar), Noodles (guitar), Greg K (bass) and Pete Parada (drums) started their movement back in Garden Grove in 1984 and never looked back – selling over 40M records worldwide and arguably becoming one of the biggest punk rock bands of all time. Whether you were young, old, or somewhere in between, THE OFFSPRING delivered the goods to a rabid fan base that literally exploded as the band walked on stage. And as they wrapped up their 19-song mega set with crowd favorite, “Self-Esteem”, all I could think about was how solid this band still was after 30+ years on the scene. Make no mistake, THE OFFSPRING is a once in a lifetime band, and they failed to disappoint even the most of critical of fans in attendance. Perfect way to end an incredible festival in my humble opinion.
Overall, the 2017 Sabroso festival (presented by Southern California’s Rock Leader - KLOS) will go down in history as one of the coolest events to ever rock Doheny State Beach. Whether you were drinking amazing beer, eating killer tacos, of jamming to some amazing live music, there was something for everyone at this year’s show. And as the music came to an end and, all I could think about was what an incredible festival this was. In a day and time where many over-hype and under-deliver, Cameron Collins and John Reese pulled all the stops and exceeded all expectations for what many in attendance felt was a festival for the ages. Looking forward to seeing how this dynamic duo tops this one in 2018 with their 5th annual installment. Until next time…
Stay Frosty and Rock On!