That’s A Wrap: SSMF 2011

By: Trina Green

If your feet are anywhere near as tired as ours are, chances are you were at the 2011 Sunset Strip Music Festival, Motley Crue edition!

If you can fully wrap your head around the fact that Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars, Vince Neil, and Tommy Lee have been the face (and hair) of metal and hard rock music for 30 years…whoa, give us a minute, here. Sunset Blvd practically gave birth to the band and it was a hell of a sight to see them as honorees of this year’s SSMF, to see them ‘come home’. Sweet home. Full circle.

Drummer extraordinaire, Tommy Lee, may have been “tripping out” as he stood on the West stage looking out at the massive sea of humanity in the middle of The Strip, but we were just as blown away by the ridiculous rock show that they treated us to, right down (or up, if you’re into defying gravity) to the amazeballz drum rollercoaster and Vince Neil sounded stellar. Was that a red headed Deadmau5 in the passenger seat? Why yes it was! Ninety minutes of loud like “Wild Side, “Dr. Feelgood” and “Saints of Los Angeles”, pyrotechnics, fake blood spew, upside down drummers, glorious guitar solos, and more blonds than Ms. Clairol could handle, all made for a night that reminded us all of that made, and still makes, The Strip so special. Thank you, Crue!

But before and after Motley Crue rocked the boulevard, from The Whisky to The Roxy to The Key Club and the Media Lounge at The Viper Room, there was a TON of other music to absorb which obviously required you to speed walk/run; hence the tired feet. The West stage had the rock vibe going with a lovely Gavin Rossdale, his ponytail, and a reunited Bush, She Wants Revenge, and Black Veil Brides while the East Stage had the party/groove action of Matt & Kim (and many blue balloons), Tribal Seeds, Cobra Starship, and oh yes, that was Chuck D and company aka Public Enemy causing a social-minded ruckus and a rock riot with Scott Ian (Anthrax) slinging his axe on “Bring The Noise”…which they did.

The FM 98.7 Media Lounge once again set up camp at The Viper Room where artist interviews, acoustic sets, and fun fan meet & greets took place with Bush, Semi Precious Weapons, Nikki Sixx, Buckcherry, Purple Melon, Black Veil Brides, Escape the Fate, Matt & Kim, and more. Yay FM 98.7!

One of the best things to happen to the festival could be found on The Roxy stage and his name is Jordan Cook. Cook is no stranger to West Hollywood having had a killer residency at The Viper Room last year, and he brought the full force of his rock ferocity to his first SSMF and left a whole lotta folks in open-mouthed awe. Dancing was not optional with Imagine Dragons, Chappo’s spacey indie funk was a good time, but if your ears desired the “hard stuff”, The Whiskey had everything that you needed with bands like All Hail The Yeti, Key To Chaos, DC4, and Motochrist. Among the three venue stages there was a lot of local love going on as LA’s Warner Drive, Indians, Voxhaul Broadcast, Acidic, Queen Caveat, Kozmonaut, and many more made their hometown proud. A special gold star goes to our Sabrosa Purr who made The Roxy walls sweat with the strut of their slick badassery. And who better to send the SSMF off and out into the ether with Sunset Strip-style than a fabulous Semi Precious Weapons/EMPIRE party at The Roxy complete with the gorgeous girls of Voyeur, Breedlove, Lady Starlight, and hosted by two lovely and talented friends of The Strip: Shane Campbell and Lenora Claire.

There was much to take in; the music to hear on the outdoor stages, the venue stages, the Musicians Institute Live stage, the sights to see along The Strip (if you saw a tree man strolling The Strip, it wasn’t those $5 sake bombs talking) like the Gibson Guitar display, the Jack Daniels Experience, the half naked girl in The Roxy…yeah, even that. Another amazing Sunset Strip Music Fest in the books and on the record of West Hollywood history. We hope that you had even half as much fun as we did because, if you did, then your feet are REALLY tired.

Many thanks to absolutely everyone who had a hand in making the 4th annual Sunset Strip Music Festival a balls to the wall success: artists, sponsors, staff, venues, volunteers, and especially our WeHo neighbors.

Check out the official SSMF Hipstamatic feed featuring photos of the entire festival here.