Pop & Hiss

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Ozzy, Korn and more: The scene from the 2009 Sunset Strip Music Festival

September 13, 2009 | 10:24 pm


For the first time ever, they shut down Sunset Boulevard between San Vicente Boulevard and Doheny Drive for a music festival, and it starred the Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne. Rockers Korn and the Donnas were also on the bill, as were goofballs Kottonmouth Kings, LMFAO and Shawyze, who gave the kids something to dance to.

All the legendary Sunset Strip clubs -- the Roxy, the Whisky, the Viper Room, the Cat Club and the Key Club -- were open if you had a $40 wristband. There were vendors serving all kinds of food, beer gardens, and women who wore the exact same stilettos they would have sported if it was a Friday night instead of a Saturday afternoon. Plenty of pictures after the jump.


The Donnas were one of the bands that was perfect for this stage. Not only have they played all up and down the Strip, most frequently at the Roxy, but they're one of the few groups in modern rock carrying the torch of '80s glam metal.


The Kottonmouth Kings had the audience transfixed on a side stage. Equally ridiculous and groovin', whoever scheduled the dopey rappers to be on the stage at 4:20 p.m. deserves a nice wink.


The sight of Motley Crue looming over the scene couldn't have been a better hint as to who should play next year's fest.


Like the Kottonmouth Kings, Korn was definitely better than expected. The Strip has always been supportive of metal acts no matter how cheesy or embarrassing. But Korn brought it.


And the crowd was locked in.


People might compare this festival to the Sunset Junction Street Fair. The bands playing in the daytime at the Sunset Strip fest would have blown away the bands that headlined the last few Sunset Junction fests in Silver Lake. Just sayin'. (Editor's note: The is the view solely of the writer, and not that of Pop & Hiss.)


In fact one of the best parts about the music selection on the outdoor stages was how the well the bands matched up.


While Korn gave the heshers all they could ask for, the high school girls ate up everything Shwayze could dole out.


And then there was Ozzy.

Lively, exciting, filled with energy.


And packing a fire hose of foam.


Ozzy tore through his solo and Sabbath library and had everyone's hands up clapping and tossing the devil horns, and in some cases cleaning their glasses.


Are there areas of improvement for the festival? Of course.

The most obvious would be the booze. At Sunset Junction you get a wrist band, you buy your beer and you can walk around and go anywhere with your brew. On the Sunset Strip, even though you're in a fenced-in street and you have a wristband, you have to either stay in the club or stay in the beer gardens. Though there is probably some thinking concerning "safety," what normally happens is people chug their drinks when they decide to get out of the club or beer garden. Thus the situation is actually causing binge drinking.


The euphoria caused by the music itself was potent on its own. And rocking. And exactly what you'd want from a street festival in the heart of hard rock and metal.

-- Tony Pierce

Photo credits: Tony Pierce