Urban Nomad Eats SSMF by Aisha Roberts
Anyone that knows me, knows I love me some good old fashioned rock n’ roll. If you want to time portal back to when “rock n’ roll”, actually meant just that, a good place to visit is Sunset and San Vicente for The Fourth Annual Sunset Strip Music Festival. This year the festival was three days of shows, with over 70 bands, playing the Strip’s most famous nightclubs and outdoor stages, in an all-day music festival event.
Back in the 70’s, the Strip was the backdrop for many collosal artists. Bands like Led Zeppelin, The Byrds, The Doors, and Frank Zappa played at venues that still occupy the Strip like The Whiskey, Roxy, and Rainbow Room. In the mid 80’s, groups like Poison, Guns N’ Roses, Ratt, Van Halen, and Motley Crue all hailed the from the Strip during the glam and heavy metal scenes.
This year, The Sunset Strip Music Festival kicked off Thursday night with a VIP party at House Of Blues, honoring rock legends, Motley Crue, with The Elmer Valentine Award, as well as declaring August 18th, Motley Crue day in LA…Yay!!! With roasting tributes from comic Dane Cook, Ray Manzarek (The Doors) and David Johansen ( NY Dolls), it was a great start to a stellar music weekend on the LA west side music scene.
Saturday night I was lucky enough to score a pass from my blogging buddy, Urban Nomad, to the headlining night of The Strip’s infamous festival. Through a sea of rockers, bikers, fashionistas, tattoos, pink hair, and hairspray, everybody was ready to rock. Celebs sightings were often, including Gene Simmons, Slash, Shenae Grimes, Jerry Ferrara, and Cari Dee English, who all came out in support of SSMF.
Over 16,000 people poured into the Strip for the annual music festival, headlined by Motley Crue, Public Enemy, Bush, She Wants Revenge and many more. This weekend, Sunset Boulevard bustled with even more energy, as music fans paid tribute to a Los Angeles street, steeped in rich rock history.
Public Enemy rallied the crowd with the same infectious energy they brought to the 80’s hip-hop scene. Hits like ” Don’t Believe The Hype”, and “Can’t Truss it” kept the crowds in swaying line. Even white guys in cowboy hats made it to the front of PE, when Scott Ian of Anthrax, joined the band for “Bring The Noise”, a song they did together back in the 80’s.
By the time Public Enemy did a DJ medley of Nirvana songs, it was already a party for hip-hop and rock fans alike. “Soul control, beat is the father of your rock ‘n’ roll!” PE lyrics that couldn’t be more appropriate.
Bush played main stage on the opposite end of the festival. It’s been a decade since the last release of the English alternative rock band. Seeing them tonight is a big deal for 90’s music fans. Even though the band lineup has changed a little. Gavin Rossdale’s still got it, with original drummer Robin Goodrich, new guitarist Chris Taylor, and bassist Corey Britz. Early hits like “Glycerine” and “Comedown” were a welcome surprise to the crowd, and music from their new album Sea of Memories, which drops Sept 13th, connected with listeners.
Appropriately fitting, Motley Crue closed out the rock festival weekend. Sticking to what they do best, the Crue gave a rocking 90 minute show of pyro-technic super 80’s stage face. Nikki Six, Mick Mars, and Tommy Lee matched the crowds fist pumping energy with indulgent guitar and drum solos. Lead singer Vince Neil, still just as cheeky & fun, belted out some serious high notes on “Shout At The Devil”, but big set highlights were “Girls, Girls, Girls”, “Home Sweet Home”, and the Brownsville Station cover ” Smoking in The Boy’s Room.” For the finale, drummer Tommy Lee stole the show, with his 360-revolution roller coaster drum kit, which rocked nine drums and eight cymbals, side to side, as he hit beats upside down on the Strip. When Deadmau5 made a surprise appearance DJing and riding along Tommy Lee’s coaster, it really lit up the crowd. Ending an epic weekend of diverse music, fitting to a celebration of one rockin’ historical street.