Rock legends flock to first-ever Sunset Strip Music Festival

Hot Hot Heat, Juliette Lewis play sweaty sets

Members of Guns N’ Roses, Jane’s Addiction and Cypress Hill launched the first-ever Sunset Strip Music Festival this weekend, which saw more than 20 bands playing at several legendary clubs along the famous LA strip.

The three-night bash gave festival-goers the chance to rub shoulders with the likes of Slash, Juliette Lewis, Dave Navarro and Sunset Strip icons and club owners Lou Adler, Mario Maglieri and Elmer Valentine who were honoured at ceremonies and participated in panel discussions as part of the event.

On Friday night (June 27), Hot Hot Heat worked the packed Roxy into a frenzy with a hit-filled set. White balloons adorning the stage added to the festive atmosphere and frontman Steve Bays put his band through the paces on tracks including ‘Bandages’, ‘Give Up’ and ‘My Best Fiend’.


Beforehand, local band The Deadly Syndrome played a crowd-pleasing set, which culminated with all four band members pounding on the drummer’s kit. The band later joined their buddies Hot Hot Heat for a cover of Talking Heads‘Psycho Killer’.

“This festival is all about supporting the local scene,” Bays told NME.COM after their set. “It’s about having some sense of community in LA, which can sometimes seem so spread out.”

Meanwhile, Juliette Lewis & The Licks heated things up at the Viper Room down the street during a sweaty set that saw Lewis stage dive barefooted and all four of her bandmates shed their shirts. At one point, Lewis looked back at the band and said, “How did everyone lose their shirts?”

The crowd, which included a few Lewis look-alikes, pumped their fists and cheered loudly for each song. “It’s gonna be a while before we play again,” Lewis said. “We’re about to go into a cave of creativity.”

The weekend continued with sets from Mickey Avalon, The 88, Louis XIV and all-star cover band Camp Freddy.

“I’m really happy that the Sunset Strip is being recognised for not only the music it brought yesterday but also that it continues to bring,” said famed producer and owner of the Roxy, Lou Adler. “It’s been a dream of my son Nicholai who runs the Roxy to do something like this festival for 10 years. I get the feeling it’s going over so well it’ll be bigger next year and just keep going.”


–By our Los Angeles staff.

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