Slash launches Sunset Strip Music Festival

Everclear kick things into gear and club legends are honoured

The first ever Sunset Strip Music Festival kicked off in Los Angeles last night (June 26).

Slash, comedians Cheech and Chong and Michelle Phillips of ’60s ‘California Dreamin” crooners The Mamas And The Papas paid tribute to Lou Adler, Mario Maglieri and Elmer Valentine, owners and proprietors of legendary Sunset Strip establishments the Roxy, the Whisky A Go Go and the Rainbow Bar.

“I moved into this neighbourhood when I was six years old,” Slash told the crowd at the House Of Blues when paying tribute to the men.

“I started making fake IDs when I was 15 or 16 so I could sneak into the Rainbow. I loved that place and it still maintains its original integrity today,” he said.

Each man was honoured at a moving ceremony hosted by Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath before Camper Van Beethoven, Soul Asylum and Everclear delivered nostalgic, hit-filled sets.

Indie rockers Camper Van Beethoven led off with their 1989 hit ‘Pictures Of Matchstick Men’ and ran through tracks that combined elements of rock, ska, and Eastern European gypsy music.

Soul Asylum frontman Dave Pirner put his band through the paces during a straight-ahead rocking set, pausing just once to thank festival organisers and the other bands sharing the bill.

Everclear concluded the night with tracks including ‘Everything To Everyone’ and ‘Father Of Mine’.

“It’s cool to be home in LA and it’s an honour to play the Sunset Strip Music Festival,” said frontman Art Alexakis before launching into a crowd-pleasing cover of Hall And Oates‘Rich Girl’.

The Sunset Strip Music Festival continues this weekend with sets by artists including Hot Hot Heat, Juliette Lewis And The Licks, Mickey Avalon, Slash and B Real of Cypress Hill at various venues along the Strip.

–By our Los Angeles staff.

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