This year's Sunset Strip Music Festival was one of the hottest to date, both figuratively and literally. Even so, the outdoor day of the festival is always a breath of fresh air when compared to the cramped basement feel of Thursday and Friday evening's shows. And without the ringing ears. Weho Patch was there for 2012's festival, enjoying a multitude of music genres because all are welcome and respected at the SSMF.
We began the day at the East Outdoor Stage, with an energetic and sweaty performance by a massive ensemble, known as the Mowgli's, who were easily the most upbeat band in the line-up. As they spread knowledge about optimism in modern life, awareness on creative expression (the Pussy Riot sentencing in Russia) and why they think music should be given freely.
Then a jaunt over to the West End Stage (after a brief tour of the beer garden) to see Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society, who honored the Doors with a cover of "Roadhouse Blues."
We waited patiently for De La Soul's much-anticipated performance; but while they were setting up, we caught a few numbers from Bad Religion. Many loyal fans supported this L.A. band, supplying their own "oozin' ahhs" during all of the three-part vocal harmonies.
De La Soul took the East Outdoor Stage just before the sun set and delivered a memorable and fun-loving set, chock full of classics from 3 Feet High and Rising to Buhloone Mindstate and beyond. Dave and Kelvin whipped the crowd into a frenzy, then stopped the show, mid-song, to request that an audience member cease their texting and enjoy the show. A peace officer, looking on, was then encouraged to dance and have a good time. Bottom line: everyone within earshot was enjoying this treat.
A set from The Offspring followed at the West Outdoor Stage, also drawing an impressive crowd while playing all the hits.
Later, Steve Aoki began his set on the East End Stage, complete with amazing video graphics and migraine inducing strobe lights. Even if the rave scene is not your preference, the energy of this set was undeniable. Lil' Jon helped him up the ante as well. The Let Them Eat Cake set was brought to a head when DJ Aoki tossed a cake into the audience, then throwing himself into the 500 pound cake that he had onstage.
Unfortunately, Far East Movement was moved to the Whiskey for a 12:30 a.m. show, so we missed them. Surely, they rocked the house.
For a change . . . West Hollywood opted for the high road, avoiding the bath salt induced zombie apocalypse trend, currently sweeping the nation. But rest assured, plenty of vampires came out of the woodwork to see the Prince of Doom materialize and play a set from deep within the Valley of the Dolls. This year's closer was Marilyn Manson, who promptly took all of us to "The Dope Show" to converse with our "Personal Jesus," because we all know that "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)."
Now, rest up, because the Sunset Strip Music Festival 2013 is only 364 days away, see you there. More 2012 SSMF music reviews and pictures to come . . .
Editor's Note: This article was originally posted under the byline of "Chad Zachary," a pen name used by the freelance writer. Patch requires that all contributors use their true names. The byline has been changed.