The Third Annual Sunset Strip Music Festival, which shut down the famous street between Doheny Blvd. and San Vicente Blvd., featured over 50 bands that performed on the east and west stages and inside historic rock venues like the Key Club, the Roxy, Cat Club and Whisky A Go-Go. Fans of all ages came out to revel in the madness.
|Michael Starr of Steel Panther|
While the event was entertaining, the only disappointment was the overlapping stage times. Festival-goers rushed back and forth between stages and venues, missing parts of a band's set. Some attendees were heard convincing each other that one band was worth missing another band's performance. (We almost missed Slash's performance since Common's time ran over as sound check took unusually long. We also missed Wicker's performance at the Roxy). Like many concert-goers at the event, we had to reluctantly pull ourselves away from the bands we were watching in order to catch an act on a different stage.
Musicians we enjoyed included rapper Big B, who performed "Sinner" with Unwritten Law's Scott Russo. He performed a catchy tune titled, "Hooligan," which caused horny teens to grind up on girls. We had to rush to the opposite end of the venue to catch Steel Panther, an 80's guy-liner wearing glam band that brought humor and wailing guitars to the stage.
|L to R: Lexxi Foxxx, Michael Star, Satchel|
Front man Michael Starr joked, "I want to thank my manager at Starbucks for letting me off today so I could do the show!" Check out their crazy antics including a cover song of the Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way" brought to you by SuperKevbone.
After the band's performance, we rushed back to the east stage to catch Common. Sure, his long sound check annoyed antsy onlookers but his performance was energetic and all hands were in their air as he performed, "Everything Is Gonna Be Alright."
During "Punch Drunk Love," girls cheered and screamed as Common sang, "I knocked and I knocked, can I come inside?" Fans sang along to parts of "Love of My Life," and "Announcement." During, "Universal Mind Control," a sea of people started dancing, which turned the historic street into a giant block party.
When Common concluded his performance, we made our way to the west stage to catch Slash with Myles Kennedy and Fergie. By the time we arrived, it was a complete mad house and angry photographers fought their way through the crowd begging security to let them snap shots of the legendary guitarist, of course, to no avail.
Maybe it was the rehashing of Guns N' Roses' "Night Train," or "Sweet Child of Mine" or the hype that surrounded the entire west stage, but Slash's performance seemed a bit overhyped. Don't get us wrong, we love the guy but apparently, we weren't the only ones thinking it. We heard a passer by ask whether the iconic rock God was "overrated." (He was brave for even saying it while surrounded by hundreds of die hard Slash fans).
|Fergie and Slash|
If you missed it, we dug up some live footage for you courtesy of mattsepu.
After watching Slash and Fergie perform, we headed to the Roxy Theater to catch Nikki and Rich. Dressed in skin tight pants, the lead singer Nikki Leonti belted out a funkadelic, soulful style reminiscent of Joss Stone.
|Nikki and Rich|
Kid Cudi was next to hit the stage and we watched to see what a live performance was like from the hip-hop star. He told the audience that he was debuting two new songs and didn't know if he remembered the lyrics. He performed, "Erase Me," which fans sang along to. A few girls danced and guys in the audience put their hands in the air while singing along. Surprisingly, when Cudi performed, "Ghost," his vocals sounded off-key, but fans loved every second if it, cheering non-stop. We saw a few rockers on their way to the Cat Club showing disdain for the artist during his performance of "Ghost." See coverage courtesy from markb4mac, below:
Finally, the headliners of the night, Smashing Pumpkins took the stage. Some might say, "They're not the Pumpkins without the original line-up" but having seen the band in action at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim back in 1996, they were amazing and guess what, they still are. The streets were extremely packed and onlookers on top of the Bank of America building stood watching as Billy Corgan belted out lyrics to '90s classics and popular favorites including "Today," "1979," "Ava Adore," and "Tonight, Tonight," to name a few.
Overall, the event was entertaining and there were memorable highlights. This year food trucks were introduced and they're changing the "Roach Coach" stigma. These food trucks have cool names and and they even have a strong Twitter following. We saw the Shrimp Pimp, The Greasy Weiner, Greenz on Wheelz, The Grilled Cheese Truck and The Dosa Truck, among other food vendors.Despite missing several bands, the event was just as good as last year, if not better.
Read more about the L.A. Food Truck Scene
All photos by Steve Buena for Disarray Magazine
Were you at this show? What did YOU think? Let us know in the comments section!
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